preview

Mary Wollstonecraft's View Of Human Nature

Good Essays
Throughout history, philosophers and other enlightening figures have produced both ancient and contemporary influential pieces from cultures around the world. Ranging from the dominant-militant teachings found in Sun Tzu’s Art of War, to our more modern and liberating feminist novel of the 18th century, we have encountered a few passages that has shaped the behavior and ideas of the society around them and even ours today. A prominent theme relating to human nature arises among a few of the novels we engaged with in class. Although most concepts of human nature seem to pertain to the innate traits that are unique to an individual, an important necessity for living a healthy lifestyle requires a strong sense of community that is dependent upon…show more content…
Wollstonecraft quickly gets to her point that humanity’s greatest gift is the ability to reason and because both men and women have that capability, they should be treated equally. During her fairly-modern era, physical strength was no longer a necessary advantage in society, but rather an education. However, women were still being nurtured to solely please their husbands. For instance, Wollstonecraft eventually refutes with the opinion of an iconic philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau; “He advises them to cultivate a fondness for dress, because a fondness for dress, he asserts, is natural to them,” (Wollstonecraft, pg. 26). Wollstonecraft burns that assumption that this desire is not innate because women should not have to be encouraged to complete a natural ability, like eating food or sleeping. She then continues her argument for an equal education system and how to form a lasting relationship with a significant other during her contemporary epoch by stating “The most holy band of society is friendship. It has been well said, by a shrewd satirist, ‘that rare as true love is, true friendship is still rarer,’” (Wollstonecraft, pg. 20). It is evident that she sees the importance of friendship and the human connection as being rare, but also natural. In conclusion, the yearn for human interaction has always been an intrinsic characteristic of man (and woman). This natural attraction can be crucial in many cases, and this concept has been a prominent theme among the works of existential thinkers like Sun Tzu, Socrates, and Ms.
Get Access