Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
Edition used: Broadview
Public domain versions: Wikisource; Bartleby.com
From the publisher’s website: “The works of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) ranged from the early Thoughts on the Education of Daughters to The Female Reader, a selection of texts for girls, and included two novels. But her reputation is founded on A Vindication of the Rights of Woman of 1792. This treatise is the first great document of feminism–and is now accepted as a core text in western tradition.”
Faculty: Jill Fellows
Lecture title: “Virtue, Power, and the ‘Hyena in Petticoats'”
Lecture date: March 3, 2014
- Mediasite (video plus slides)
See also Thomas Paine, Rights of Man.
- Analyze Austen’s Northanger Abbey using one or two of Wollstonecraft’s arguments in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. You could focus on characters, events, and/or their views of the value of novels.
- Mary Wollstonecraft ridicules the “sickly delicacy” of sentimental novels. Why does she do so, and how does this impact her own prose style?
- How does Wollstonecraft use the story of Adam and Eve in support of her view? Could one also use this story to object to her view?
- Discuss similarities and/or differences between Kant’s arguments in “Conjectural Beginning of Human History” and Wollstonecraft’s arguments in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
- Do Paine and Wollstonecraft share the same conception of rights?
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