Anne Bradstreet And Wollstonecraft Analysis

Good Essays
Bradstreet, Wollstonecraft, and the Role of Women in Society In the 17th and 18th centuries, women were expected to stay at home, raise children, and not have political opinions. Both Mary Wollstonecraft and Anne Bradstreet believed that they, along with all other women, were capable and deserved to do more than home making. The works of Bradstreet and Wollstonecraft demonstrate the role of women in society by explaining everyday life as a woman and arguing that women deserve the right to have opinions and a voice in government. Anne Bradstreet was eighteen when she arrived in Massachusetts Bay on the Arbella in 1630. Upon arrival, “Anne herself followed her culture’s expectations for a woman’s role, as she worked to raise eight children” …show more content…
Her writings are “decidedly political” (230). She discusses relations between men and women in her work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Wollstonecraft states, “It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are, in some degree, independent of men; nay it is vain to expect that strength of natural affection, which would make them good wives and mothers” (231). She explained that it is unlikely for women to be virtuous because they are “slaves.” “Women are, in common with men, rendered weak and luxurious by the relaxing pleasures which wealth procures; but added to this they are made slaves to their persons, and must render them alluring, that man may lend them his reason to guide their tottering steps aright” (235). Wollstonecraft suggests that, “...(Women) are absolutely dependent on their husbands...” (231). At the time, this thought was true, as women were seen as beautiful and only capable of household duties. Wollstonecraft states that, “Men are not aware of the misery they cause, and the vicious weakness they cherish, by only indicting women to render themselves pleasing; they do not consider that they thus make natural and artificial duties clash, by sacrificing the comfort and respectability of a women’s life to voluptuous notions of beauty, when in nature they all harmonize” (233). Wollstonecraft argues that men are the root of the issues that women face. Because “The few employments open to women… are menial” (239), most women did not work.
“Or should they be ambitious, they must govern their tyrants by sinister tricks, for without rights there cannot be any incumbent duties. The laws respecting woman, which I mean to discuss in a future part, make an absurd unit of a man and his wife; and then, by the easy transition of only considering him as responsible, she is reduced to a mere cipher”

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Dr. Gregory also advises women to stop expanding their knowledge if they intend to get married because men find educated women to be unattractive and abrasive. Wollstonecraft blatantly opposes this piece of advice and continues to support her belief that an educated woman makes a better wife and mother. According to Dr. Gregory’s advice a marriage is a system of slavery and as women slaves are incapable of attaining their virtue. For reason to rule the household, arbitrary power must be eliminated – both men and women are fully capable of reason as their souls are the same. Women’s tyrannical behavior is simply a response to the oppression of their husbands and these behaviors can be completely avoided if women are not seen as the “submissive charms” and given the same educational opportunities as their male…

    • 1559 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Men were powerful, independent, able to resist temptation and ambitious. Harper writing conveyed that during that time in history they were stereotypical solutions to a man dominating duality. Women were stereotyped into being household wives. For this reason, it revolted to an isolation in women to be able to be dependent as well. Specifically, these women who generationally married.…

    • 1291 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Even though such a reason looked blatant, it was bold enough for her during her times. The wife of bath was simply speaking to the males of her time who thought that only men could marry more than one wife, and women were entitled to just a single husband. She was right to advocate for the rights of women during her time because when women were found to have more than one partner, they would be flogged or killed. Subsequently, Chaucer and other critics believe that the use of euphuisms by women in their language promotes negative stereotypes towards them. They view the style of speech that the wife of bath speaks not to be skillful or positive because women fear straight talking and therefore opts for euphemism.…

    • 1752 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Louisa was very strong, independent women who was very family oriented. Alcott writes about her civil war experiences while being a nurse, and how the women at home suffered from low income and supply shortages due to the costly war. Louisa May was a women's activist, she thought all women should be considered equal to men. Louisa was also the first women to register to vote and she worked day and night to convince other women to take advantage of their right to vote. In the novel little women the characters are all very family oriented.…

    • 1034 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Men used women to please their needs and serve them as if they were the maximum authority in the world. Women was restricted to education, vote, and participate in political movements. The author of “the storm” focus in the equality of gender the principle objective of the feminist movement by contrasting that women can equally cheat as men for the same reason that men can express; they are not happy with their marriage, the love is gone, or they are equally driving by their impulses of passion. The author firmly agreed with changing the ideas of women is lower than men and women is capable of doing the same thing. Not only by doing unmoral actions but stepping out from the taboos and giving themselves a place in society and be recognizable for their sacrifices towards their family that need to be more…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    On many instances she is told she can not be successful finding a man because she already is one, equating financial success and leadership to the role of a man, and delegating the women’s role towards one who needs both financial protection and leadership. Charleston analysis this trait in the film remarking: “ Harvey essentializes gender by asserting that men are not capable of or do not desire to demonstrate their love in manners traditionally associated with women. Protection and provision are how women should expect men to show their love, two components of a patriarchal value system” (Charleston 664-665). Charleston’s points are spot on with Laure unable to find ‘success’ dating until she literally hides her successful career and conforms to the roles placed upon on…

    • 1142 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    And in spite of the fact that they did not deserve it, women were often times treated unfairly and unjustly. Being raised to believe that they were placed on earth to serve man, women had little room to express themselves and do what they wanted to do or achieve what they wanted to achieve. Wives had their rights and basic citizenship taken away by and were essentially slaves to their husbands. Even unmarried women were stripped of their natural rights by men who declared themselves ‘superior’ to them. However, there were few very powerful women who challenged the society’s rules and proved themselves equal, or even superior, to men.…

    • 1285 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Why is this? It is because women are believed to be housewives and not working humans. Women do not get paid as much as men do, because their employers still believe that they are just silly housewives. When it comes to custody of children, women usually get the majority. And yes, this is sexism towards men, but once again it is truly for women.…

    • 1584 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Having multiple husband and lovers while having control over them only showed what she as a woman can do, be the dominant one. Through her tale she was able to portray men as weak and unworthy to have such power in life or in a relationship, that there would always be consequences for them. “The Wife of Bath presents herself as the authority on marriage and marital life. She comments on the social and legal position of women in marriage and daily life” (Librarius). One can say that the wife could be possibly known as one of first feminist characters in early…

    • 1459 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    To Philips, the companionship between two women (her and Lucasia) are more powerful than a marriage because of the freedom they had. Independent women’s “hearts are doubled” by staying away from men and are able to disperse and learn when engaging with other women (Philips I, 11-15). The reasoning for this was because men did not give them any freedom to begin with, meaning that there was no enjoyment as well. In To One Persuading a Lady to Marriage Philips brings this up, asking why women “should dispose herself to be / A petty household god?”in order to marry someone (Philips II, 7-8). Both Congreve and Philips agreed that a relationship between two people had to have freedom in order to be…

    • 1308 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays