Essay On Mary Wollstonecraft Concept Of Education

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Wollstonecraft emphasized the value of education for women, but she called for something more than opportunities to learn needle work and social graces. She stressed that a woman’s education should shape body, mind, and emotions, eventually leading to a sense of independence. Although Wollstonecraft’s thinking was a head of her time, it reflected philosophies of the Enlightenment, which championed the power of education, social reform, and moral worth and development as the right of individuals including women. Education was necessary for women, and through moral education women would acquire virtue, knowledge and honesty.
For Wollstonecraft, lack of education was the cause of all feminine misery, and since women were denied the opportunity to expand their mental activities in many cases, they could never attain virtue. Thus, they assumed artificial codes of behaviour to gain some type of masculine respect and were content to remain ignorant to
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Wollstonecraft found women to be lazy and thought that laziness would continue to be a female characteristic unless both mental and bodily moral stamina were required of them. She believed that a sound moral education could enlarge the mind. As a result, feminine blind obedience would cease, and women would no longer be veiled in ignorance under the guise of innocence.
Wollstonecraft’s idea of virtue was a composite of goodness, justice, respect, honesty and chastity. Furthermore, she advised the female sex to cultivate modesty and reserve, for women could not remain complacent to be mere objects of pleasure with many vices and follies. Instead, she envisioned that women should reach their full potential through intellectual self--‐improvement, not embellishments designed to make them physically pleasing to
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