Nineteenth Century Literature

Blog Post 2 Week 4

Both Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen are concerned with the way women lead their lives. Do you think there is any difference between what Austen and Wollstonecraft propose about how women should spend their time?

Both Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen are concerned with the way women lead their lives.

Mary Wollstonecraft believes that women have an equal right to education as men do. In her A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary expresses her strong beliefs that women play an important role in the passing down of knowledge from one generation to another, and that through education, not only can this knowledge be passed down, but can also be used in order for women to grow wiser. She states that “if she [women] not be prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowledge and virtue”. Wollstonecraft believed that for children to be taught to understand “the true principle of patriotism, their mother must be a patriot; and the love of mankind, from which an orderly train of virtues can spring, can only be produced by considering the moral and civil interest of mankind”. This goes to show that if only men have the education, this knowledge cannot also be passed down by women resulting in children only gaining half of the knowledge and perspectives, and therefore, not all women will have the full extent to understand and grow.

While Mary Wollstonecraft believes that women should spend their time gaining an education, Jane Austen’s novel Emma portrays the idea that women should marry while also building upon their own place in society. Jane Austen’s character, Emma, spends her time “match-making” and focusing on her perceived ability to control fate. While it is later proved to Emma that she in fact does not have this ability, marriage is still a major affair in the novel with the women also showing their independence and desire to move up in society and create a name for themselves through marriage and/or wealth.

Jane Austen.jpg
Jane Austen

Greenblatt, Stephen, and M. H Abrams. The Norton Anthology Of English Literature. 9th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. Print.

Austen, Jane, and George Justice. Emma. 4th ed., New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 2012,.

Image: https://writersinspire.org/writers/jane-austen

Nineteenth Century Literature, Peer Reviews

Peer Review 1

Beatrice.

I really like how the you thought of the painting in response to the question. It shows a great level of creativity and understanding.

I can relate to you in your experiences of your relationship and where your mood changed. I believe that is really is an amazing thing to be able to “feel joyful, peaceful, safe, secure, lovable and worthy through taking care of ourselves” and to then be able to share this with those around us.

I’m really glad that you were selected to come to Australia in this exchange program. It provides you with the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and experience something new and exciting where you can move past these previous negative feelings and emotions. I too am excited for the experiences and life changes a small overseas study tour can bring to me this year.

I found your post emotional, inspiring and encouraging. It reminds me to think of where it is in life that I want to be and to continue to work towards this rather than feeling down when faced with difficulty.

I can’t wait to read more of your posts!
Nicole

https://beatricefait.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/blog-topic-week-4/#comment-7

Nineteenth Century Literature

Blog Post 1 Week 3

From reading the opening pages of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman write what you think is Mary’s most important advice to women of her time.

Mary Wollstonecraft was a British feminist who – at the time – had strongly radical views. During Mary’s time, women did not have political rights, did not have the right to an education, could lose their property to their husband and be unable to take action within the court, and had limited opportunities for vocations outside of the home resulting in majority of women working domestic roles such as servants and nurses.

It is education that Mary Wollstonecraft focusses her main argument around in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In the introductory paragraph, Wollstonecraft states, “if she [women] not be prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowledge and virtue”.  If both women and men are educated, they are able to work together in order to further educate their children. Wollstonecraft argues that “if children are to be educated to understand the true principle of patriotism, their mother must be a patriot; and the love of mankind, from which an orderly train of virtues spring, can only be produced by considering the moral and civil interest of mankind” and that “the education and situation of woman, at present, shuts her out from such investigations.” If women do not have the knowledge and understanding to pass this information down to her children the children will not receive the entire extent of the knowledge and virtues, whereas, if both women and men have this interest and knowledge, they can work together in order to share this knowledge from different understandings and perspectives.

It is from this that I believe that Mary Wollstonecraft’s best advice to women of her time is to seek out education and understanding and use this knowledge to not only grower wiser, but to also help ensure that this knowledge is passed down to their children and future generations.

Referencing:

Greenblatt, Stephen, and M. H Abrams. The Norton Anthology Of English Literature. 9th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. Print.