Through all the readings that she had possessed she had become, what was the start of, an independent woman. The fact that she continued to read to further her knowledge and to learn more did not faze her that not many other women were doing as she was. At a young age she knew that “settling” with the roles of women during this time was a life that she had to choose but she also wanted more. She wanted to educate herself and that she did through the works of her favorite author’s books and poems.
Hannah More was a writer of a popular conduct book, Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education. Kathryn Kirkpatrick writes that Hannah More felt that “One of the duties that the middle-class woman was to learn from her reading was how to contain and control her own feelings as well as those of her husband” (Tobin, 222). Generally, the gothic novel is a genre where women are forced into such extreme situations that they cannot control their feelings. Both Walpole’s and Radcliffe’s novels are filled with fainting and protestation and tears, but there are also examples of female restraint.
Eudora Welty’s sheltered, adolescent life, coupled with her parent’s emphasis on education and reading, helped to shape her as the writer she was by making her stylistic approaches daring and intelligent while keeping a southern tone and state of mind.
In her next chapter, Kerber examines the newfound need for the educating of women. Women were not allowed freedom or a political opinion, but they could not be completely pushed aside. For years women had been taught that education made them undesirable to men and educated women were scorned. Kerber argues that a new need for
Judith Sargent Murray’s On the Equality of the Sexes reveals the struggles women had in the 17th-18th centuries when it came to equal education opportunities. Women were expected to become people of domestication while men had many opportunities to expand their minds and be ambitious, and be leaders. Women were expected to focus on taking care of their family, not to have minds of their own. They wanted change.
After stating these points she continues on to discuss the importance of women having the same opportunities as men. One of the first opportunities being the choice to pursue the education she desires and not one that be designated to her, “The education that will fit her to discharge the duties in the largest sphere of human usefulness, will best fit her for whatever special work she may be compelled to do.” She states that, “The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her
In early America, women were expected to take care of the household and of the children. However, writers such as Anne Bradstreet and Judith Sargent Murray wanted to emphasize the importance of education for women. The two texts by these authors that will be discussed are the poem, “The Prologue” by Anne Bradstreet and the essay, “Desultory Thoughts upon the Utility of Encouraging a Degree of Self-Contemplacency, especially in Female Bosoms,” By Judith Sargent Murray. A theme seen prominently throughout both texts is fairer treatment of women through education. Although both women do believe in opportunity for women in education, Bradstreet focuses more on the idea that women should have more acceptance in the intellectual world by men while Murray however, emphasizes the importance of women to be raised properly which resulted in them understanding their self-worth.
“The subject of the Education of Women of the higher classes is one which has undergone singular fluctuations in public opinions” (Cobbe 79). Women have overcome tremendous obstacles throughout their lifetime, why should higher education stand in their way? In Frances Power Cobbe’s essay “The Education of Women,” she describes how poor women, single women, and childless wives, deserve to share a part of the human happiness. Women are in grave need of further improvements in their given condition. Cobbe suggests that a way to progress these improvements manifests in higher education, and that this will help further steps in advance. Cobbe goes on to say that the happiest home, most grateful husband, and the most devoted children came from a woman, Mary Sommerville, who surpassed men in science, and is still studying the wonders of God’s creations. Cobbe has many examples within her paper that shows the progression of women as a good thing, and how women still fulfill their duties despite the fact that they are educated. The acceptance of women will be allowed at the University of New England because women should be able to embrace their abilities and further their education for the benefit of their household, their lives, and their country.
At a moment’s glance, Daniel’s Defoe’s 1719 publication “The Education of Women” looks to be quite progressive for the time period in which it was written. He makes a claim of policy, stating that women should be educated in order to better serve men as companions. It is his justification for his claim that falls flat when viewed under a modern lens – he cares little for the individual benefits a woman may receive from an education, instead focusing on how education will further their ability to please men. That said, Defoe does state that although they should be educated to better serve men, he does not believe they should “Stewards, Cooks, and Slaves.” He believes that “The great distinguishing difference… between men and women, is in their education”, and that women’s souls are “capable of the same accomplishments with men”. The mix of traditional and progressive views present in his essay, as well as the reasoning for such views, make the piece an interesting look into the social views of the Age of Enlightenment.
Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette (1797) and William Hill Brown’s The Power of Sympathy (1789) are epistolary novels that outline the inevitable perils and consequences (for women) of carelessly becoming a victim of male seduction. These provocative novels allow readers to enter a sexual private sphere of society, one that may have been deemed taboo, through letters depicting the art of seduction. Women were expected to subscribe to the societal expectations of appropriate female behavior. In addition, literacy was at transformative state at the staging of both novels; morals lessons (within the household) could now be found in non-biblical mediums of literature. The divergence from reading for devotion to reading for entertainment and intellect was pivotal. The perceived dangers of this, however, were that “novels which expose no particular Vice, and which recommend no particular Virtue, to the fair Reader, though she may find amusement, must finish them without being impressed with any particular idea" (Brown, 7). Brown implies that, by misinterpreting seduction novels, women would not be able to perform their political and social role as republican mothers—that these novels would penetrate their moral compass and leave them vulnerable to the powers of seduction. The seduction that befall women in Brown’s The Power of Sympathy and Foster’s The Coquette reinforce the expected role of women in the New Republic, highlight the horrifying consequences that accompany
More, a major humanist, was acknowledged to be one of England's greatest thinkers ever, and far ahead of his time. Four centuries before anyone offered women an equal education, More
It is unfair that literature teaches women to be such things, it teaches women “To become women nurses rather than doctor, secretaries rather than attorneys or corporate executives, sex symbols rather than thinkers, elementary school teachers rather than university professors.” (Feminist Criticism 1132)
In addition, Keohane stressed the importance of contributing to the society that a person lives in. Despite the known virtues of solitary, being socially active is imperative in propelling and advancing societies. One must strike a balance between the two or otherwise, he or she will fall into the trap of passiveness or shallowness. By the end of the article, the author invokes Virgina wolf’s thoughts on education to inspire future generation to work harder and believe in themselves. As Wolf explained, women in modern days are fortunate to have right to education and innovation. A couple hundred years ago, it was impossible for women to flourish in academia due to the systematic injustice practiced against them on social and political levels. The author concludes her article by stressing the importance of liberal art degrees. Keohane argues that a liberal art education furnishes your mind with a wealth of information and critical thinking abilities, which will inevitably help you in any society you live
As found in the article “Enlightenment Salons: The Convergence of Female and Philosophic Ambitions”, Dena Goodman writes how women of the upper classes embraced and expanded the educational opportunities that were provided to them, providing and employing resources such as those that created the Encyclopédie. A new, socially
Hannah More’s “from Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education” and William Wordsworth’s “The Table’s Turned; An Evening Scene, on the Same Subject” at first glance appear unrelated; however, upon further investigation, it is clear that the two works share a common goal: to inspire their readership to embark on a meaningful educational journey. The two pieces, one traditionally persuasive, the other traditionally literary, differ in their delivery but converge in their principles. Both Wordsworth and More seek to change the culture of education in their society. By placing their pieces in conversation with one another, each author’s perspective illuminates in the other author’s piece a message only decipherable through his or her