The Feminist Movement Of The 18th Century Enlightenment Movement

1417 Words6 Pages
In our modern, selfie-centric, and Facebook-likes-driven culture, it is widely understood that the formation and discovery of the "self" are crucial to one’s potential happiness. It is often advised that one must first focus on the well-being, contentment, and happiness of one’s self before working to provide such things for another. However, this mentality is relatively new in human history. It was once considered selfish to think of the "self" before the welfare of one’s community since they were once much more deeply and rigidly bound together. As one can imagine, the transition from a community-centric society to that of a self-centric society was neither easy nor quick. It caused strife for many generations as those of the community-based society saw their values being displaced and those who fought for the self-centric changes they felt were necessary and right clashed over differing values. A prime example of this would be the feminist movement of the 18th Century Enlightenment movement; women were fighting to be perceived as equals, and they often conveyed ideas on their society and their positions in it though literature. In Mary Robinson’s satirically ironic The Natural Daughter, she does just that by narrating the life of Martha, a young woman who rebuffs societal notions of ideal ladyhood and instead commits to being her "self." When we first meet Martha, she is traveling with her overbearingly pompous father, resigned mother, and idyllic younger sister. "Julia
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