Summary Of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman By Mary Wollstonecraft

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The social disparities of the eighteenth century taught women to view their reputations as their main priority. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft questioned these prejudices by publishing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which emphasizes these differences and the unfair treatment of women by society. She passionately protests the unspoken societal code and calls this illogical thinking into the attention of the general public. To persuade her audience that women are held to a higher standard due to their reputations and deserve equal treatment, Wollstonecraft advances understanding of the stark contrast between virtue and reputation, provides insight into the flaws in society’s system of ranking, and increases comprehension of the importance placed on reputation.
Wollstonecraft displays the role of prejudice in the production of a strict code that ostracized women based on perception, rather than lack of virtue, and the effects it has had on society. She uses antithesis to create contrast between the lives of two women, by mentioning the common belief that “an innocent girl” who falls in love is “degraded,” but a woman who is married is capable of breaking the “most sacred engagement” without any consequences (Paragraph 4). Wollstonecraft effectively juxtaposes the ways in which various women are perceived by society, therefore highlighting the differences between them and the flaws in their characterizations. By contrasting two ideas- the possession of virtue and the
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