The Inequality In John Wollstonecraft's Degradation Of Women

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In this passage, Wollstonecraft addresses the degradation of women and argues that they have been treated with the same mentality as slaves, preventing them from achieving their virtue. In order to prove her point, she contrasts her opinion with that of men that are seen as “sensible” and uses indicative words and religious references to clearly demonstrate their demeaning attitude toward slaves. She then compares these feelings to attitudes towards women, bringing new meanings to words she has already written. With these techniques, she ultimately comes back to the idea that women have been “degraded by a concurrence of circumstances” and uses this idea to further her explanations of equality throughout the text. Through allusive words and phrases, the author shines light on the debasing treatment of slaves, and ultimately…show more content…
It is important to note that she adds in “aristocracy”, as she herself disagrees with this idea. This gives the audience an idea of how Wollstonecraft feels about this opinion before it is even stated. That being said, these men revolve their opinion around the idea that mankind cannot be any one thing since “obsequious slaves…allow themselves to be driven forward” and that if they were to “feel their own consequence” they would “spurn their chains”. Through this quote it is implied that aristocratic men view these slaves as having a weaker state of mind, that limits their consciousness of the world around them keeping them and thus keeps them from fighting for their freedom. To these men, slaves are just obedient and mindless. Similarly, Wollstonecraft argues that an analogy can be made here, as women are also seen as obedient to men in this society, as they are raised to aspire to marriage. With this comparison in mind, the idea of slaves not taking the initiative to change things when they would “only” have to “life their heads to throw off the yoke”, implies that like slaves, women are weaker by
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