Anne Bradstreet And Wollstonecraft Analysis

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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”

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