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Literary Analysis- Wollstonecrafts A Vindication / A Simple Heart / The Yellow Wallpaper - Gender/Sexual Difference - Essay Example

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Mary Wollstonecraft argues in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects that men and women by nature are equal because they both have souls that have equal…
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Literary Analysis- Wollstonecrafts A Vindication / A Simple Heart / The Yellow Wallpaper - Gender/Sexual Difference
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Download file to see previous pages A Vindication can be used to understand the causes and effects of gender oppression in two stories, Flaubert Gustave’s “A Simple Heart” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Gustave shows Félicité’s life as a woman, which Gilman also demonstrates in the life of her story’s narrator. These female characters are protagonists, not only in their lives, but in a man-dominated society. Wollstonecraft argues that society oppresses women through preparing them for marriage that breaks them mentally and isolates them socially, through training them solely for their traditional gender roles and responsibilities, and through turning them into men’s slaves and playthings. The primary problem, she continues, in conditioning women to have weak minds is that they acquire a poor sense of reason that makes them susceptible to mental and emotional breakdowns that harm them and society as a whole. Wollstonecraft asserts that women can liberate themselves from oppression through self-expression and self-reflection that will give them control over their lives.
Wollstonecraft asserts that marriage is an institution that usually oppresses women because it breaks them mentally. She first laments the fact that, during her time, women’s main preoccupation was to get married. She says: “…meanwhile strength of body and mind are sacrificed to libertine notions of beauty, to the desire of establishing themselves—the only way women can rise in the world—by marriage” (1.12). Instead of studying and honing their talents, women’s only lifelong course is to be prepared for marriage. What is more disconcerting is that most marriages are bad for women’s inner mental development. Marriage breaks women mentally because society expects them to be dedicated only to the goal of satisfying their husband’s needs and following their orders. Wollstonecraft talks about the tyranny of being married to men who do not want their wives ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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