The Fourth Revolution (An Analysis Of The More Radical Idea Between Jane Austen And Mary Wollstonecraft)

1075 words - 5 pages

Throughout the history of the world, minorities and women have fought for equality, for equal opportunities as white protestant men. Women’s struggle can be seen from the beginning of civilization. It can been seen as early as the ancient Roman Empire, as the web-site, “The Roman Empire In the First Century” states that women received little, if no, education. They were subjects to the authority of man. As time went on, women’s rights did not improve at all. Throughout the entire world, women were treated as second class citizens to their superior male counterparts. This continued on through the ages; up until the Victorian Era in Britain did women try to denounce these thousand year old “rights of women.” Several brave women spoke out against the ways they were treated, these women included, Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen. Both of these women felt the need to write about this situation of equality for women so they may encourage others to take up arms with them and fight for equality. From the two different texts written by Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” is the more radical of the two texts of the day due to Wollstonecraft covering a broader range of subject that women dealt with in her day.
Wollstonecraft first begins will addressing education in her essay about equal rights for women. The web-site, “Women’s Status in Mid-19th Century England” goes to say, “Girls received less education than boys, they were barred from universities, and could only obtain low paying jobs.” This statement goes to show that women were perceived as stay at home mothers in which it was basically illegal for them to go and seek further education. Although some education was received women were unable to attend universities. However, a rebellious Wollstonecraft states in her essay, “The conduct and manners of women; in fact, evidently prove that their minds are not in a healthy state.” She also goes on to say, “The education of women has of late been more attended to than formally; yet they are still reckoned a frivolous sex, and ridiculed or pitied by the writers who endeavor by satire or instruction to improve them.” (Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women, page 917). Wollstonecraft states in these previous statements that men believe that women are incapable of pursuing the higher education of men. She goes on to say that although women’s education has improved, she still wants there to be large improvements in the educational abilities and opportunities for women.
Secondly, Wollstonecraft says it straight forward that woman can be superior to their male counterparts. This is one of the reasons that Wollstonecraft’s essay is much more radical and rebellious than Jane Austen’s essay. Nowhere in Jane Austen’s story does she go out and state this. Meanwhile, Wollstonecraft states, “And this desire making mere animals of them, when they marry they act as such children may be...

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