Liberální matka Božena Němcová?
A LIBERAL MOTHER BOZENA NEMCOVA?
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The preserved correspondence of Božena Němcová can be used as a source for an analysis of her attitude to her children. The letters enable us to reflect if these attitudes diverged from the conventions of the time, to what degree her personal experiences reflected in her raising of the children and what priorities she envisioned for them. The principles Němcová quoted can be to a certain degree seen as representing a clash of only slowly changing social norms (i.e. the notion of the patriarchal family with father-provider) and the rapidly changing social and economic reality. Němcová herself was forced to submit to the economic situation of her family and through her own income tried to improve its situation. As for the raising of the children, she mostly advocated traditional views. However, we can consider modern her conviction of the importance of first-rate education, without regard to gender. As for the future professions of her children, she viewed this question in a practical way, considering the possibilities for professional fulfilment and salary. There is a marked difference in the approach of Němcová to her sons and to her only daughter, influenced of course by the fact of their greater or shorter distance from home, but also probably by certain traditional and gender-stereotypical thinking. The educational style of Němcová should not be considered liberal, as she most often reminded her children of their duties, moral principles, obedience, respect and responsibility.
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