Both women used the context of their situations to create a life that suited their desires in the world, while keeping in mind the restrictions and expectations of perfection that encompassed them.
Hannah Garrett followed Wheelock’s plan and did what women in that period were ‘supposed’ to do. She was married, was a dutiful wife, and had many children. On the other hand, Mary Secutor had a life of independence and lived with her community. She refuses to follow Wheelock’s path, and because of that, she is deemed a failure.
However, who gets to decide what a successful life was or was not? Who is to say that one was happier than the other? Both faced difficulties regarding the capabilities society granted Native women at this time. Society encompassed both women, viewing them as savages and as inherently inferior. I respect that both Secutor and Garrett took advantage of their surroundings. They found themselves trying to discover where they fit into the narrative of a society that constantly tried to change them. Both women used the context of their situation to create a life that suited their desires in the world, while keeping in mind the restrictions and expectations of perfection that encompassed them.
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