Margaret Cavendish And Wollstonecraft 's A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman

Margaret Cavendish And Wollstonecraft 's A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman

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Literature from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century has supplied ample insight into society’s idea of the female image and gender expectations. Females of any class status were expected to be submissive to men in every regard, and their primary role in life routinely amounted to nothing more than domestic duties. Men writers’ depictions of females were base and valued a woman’s worth by how beneficial she could be to a man; and women writers’ woefully conceded their lowly positions. However, some women writers were willing to defend against the long accepted female submissiveness that society embraced. Two such audacious writers keen to delve into the role of women in society and propose measures to ensure equality among the sexes are Margaret Cavendish and Mary Wollstonecraft. In Cavendish’s Female Orations and Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman the authors’ crucial concerns were society’s idea of female expectation and worth, the enslavement of the female sex and actions for gaining equality.
While both Cavendish and Wollstonecraft authored forward-thinking pieces of their time, they have distinctive perspectives and deliveries. Margaret Cavendish is a seventeenth century writer with a style that is vastly avant-garde for the period. Not only her writings, but also her very character, are considered an oddity (Gilbert and Gubar 160). Female Orations, which addresses female readers from every class of society, explores various feministic circumstances in which wide-ranging solutions are ascertained dependent upon individual situations. Although Wollstonecraft has a similarly progressive conviction, the purposefulness of her writing in the sphere of society had a larger impact than Cavendish’...


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... scale” (Wollstonecraft 388). In retrospect, Wollstonecraft may very well be the leader among women worthy of praise, admiration and worship that Cavendish referred to in Female Orations.
Whereas both Margaret Cavendish and Mary Wollstonecraft exhibited similar discontents with society in regards to their gender, it is evident that their mindsets were exorbitantly diverse. They struggled with their reality and allotment in life as the inferior sex and envisioned a society that promoted impartiality; however, they solicited their readers differently. Cavendish suggested atypical solutions to the problem at hand, but Wollstonecraft unambiguously stressed the necessity of education as a means of advancement in society. Whatever separates their principles and manner of writing, both writers can lay claim to the progression of women’s literature and women in society.

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