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A Woman Ahead of Her Time: Emma Lazarus as Feminist and Jewish Advocate.
In this paper, I examine the life of Emma Lazarus, with an eye to her role as a woman writer and her defense of the Jewish faith. I begin by studying her early years and her wealthy upbringing. I then discuss her early career and her association with American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. After analyzing two of her poems, "Echoes," and "Sympathy," for their thematic content regarding the status of women in society and art. I then talk about her friendship with Heinrich Heine and how it reminded her of her own inner torment over how to handle her Jewish heritage as opposed to her status as a wealthy, assimilated American. After analyzing "In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport" in light of its portrayal of traditional Jewish imagery, I then discuss how the pogroms of the 1880s and the resulting exodus of Russian Jews to New York forced Lazarus to consider more carefully her heritage and become more politically active, first in her writing and then as a social activist in volunteer. I finish by analyzing the famous poem, "The New Colossus". 14 pgs. bibliography lists 5 sources.