Mary Wollstonecraft’s romantic poem predominantly talks about the role of women in the society. She explores the rights that women should have as opposed to the current situation where they are looked at differently. She is categorical in presenting this, as we shall see because she thinks it is important. She mentions that giving women a chance to develop equally with men shall be one way of doing great favor to the nation. Mary feels the rights of women have been neglected for a long time and as such wishes to explore them in depth in her romantic novel. It actually communicates a lot (Maclaren, 1951 p 89)
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The first thing that is clear in the novel and which has been given great emphasis is education. Mary thinks education is an integral part of any society. She says that it helps eradicate ignorance and cases of people being backward, primitive and old fashioned. She feels obliged to categorically state that women have not been given the education standard they deserve. This has made them to remain naïve and stupid to some extent. She says this state of remaining ‘fools’ is not because women do not have brains. She also states that it is not because they do not have the capacity, will and ability to learn equally just like their counterparts the males do. It is because they have not been presented with the chance to go to school to learn. The novel is clear that if women were given the same chance as the men in being provided with education, it would do them great since it would contribute to growth even of the society. Mary argues that men have denied women access to education and have been sly and cunning enough to center all focus on them to the extent that women have always remained silly. She argues that this should change and states that providing education to women should be made a must (Wollstonecraft, 2006 p 251)
The novel also mentions the position of women in the society as important. Mary says that the position of women defines what they are in the society, the way they live and as such survive. It is made clear in the novel that women should be made companions to men other than just tools to be used for domestic chores. She states that the position of women has been neglected for a long time and this has seen them suffer scorn and even violence in the homes. She says that women are often traded for money into marriage by their families. Economic reasons of marriage are actually more pronounced than love. It is for this reason that Mary criticizes the patriarchal line of marriage where being a father is more recognized than being a mother. She says that men are left to make major decisions in the homesteads while women are supposed to sit and implement their husband’s decisions. This has seen women have no choice in choosing their marriage partners. The society chooses for them instead ( Sharrock, 1958 p 64).
Mary also has shifts perspective on the beauty of a woman. She says that the society has made it that a woman’s beauty is her scepter. This means that this is all that a woman has to support herself. It is what dictates if a woman will fit and survive well in the society or it will simply work against her and be the basis of mockery. This she says to what should be the case. A woman should be independent and does not have to rely on men in order to survive the tribulations of the world. Relying on her beauty is dangerous because with time it fades. She should be made to have alternative accessories such as education on which to rely on.
The novel also underscores equality of sexes. Mary categorically states that men are way ahead of women in the society. This difference in position is not because man and women cannot perform equally as much but because they have not been awarded equal chances. The society has gone ahead to place specific emphasis on the male child right after birth while ignoring the female child with the idea in mind that she will be married of. This has seen a difference in terms of perspective on the way the two sexes fit in their environment. Men are the ones who make decisions while women are meant to listen and follow. (Findlay, 1967) Men are given the chance to go to school and advance in their studies as compared to women. Men are also the symbols of command in the society. They are supposed to initiate decisions on their own while women do the implementation bit. Men are also more vigil in the political arena with them taking all the leadership positions. All these are signs of inequalities that exist in the society. It has seen disastrous consequences on the rights of women.
Mary also mentions that women easily succumb to sensibility. They are very susceptible to what is around them. They are sensitive to feelings and emotions. This she says has made them lag behind because they focus a lot of attention in trying to please people. They give in to their husbands commands just to appear good and so that the society does not see them as perverts. This has often made men to take advantage of them and give commands believing that they will certainly be followed. She states women are blown about by every momentary gust of feeling. (Rosher and Wollstonecraft, 1932)This has often made them to do things out of emotions but not because they are the right things to do. Mary mentions that this kind of situation harms the generation and will continue to do so if things do not change. They must stand up for change if achieving progress for women is anything to go by.
Words worth’s Lucy poems talk about the poets longing for the company of his friend by the name Coleridge. He lived in England. The poet is also becoming increasingly impatient with his sister Dorothy who had travelled with him abroad. Wordsworth is focusing his attention on a case of unreciprocated love for Lucy who is an ideal character. Lucy has just died at a young age and the poet places heavy emphasis on her. The poet suffers a lot on her loss. Although difficult to actually tell the exact identity of this character Lucy, it is clear that she represents as someone who is alone and insignificant. Lucy is actually compared to a hidden flower and a shining star.
This is a metaphor meant to show the reader of the ability that women actually have. They are capable of doing and achieving a lot but they are shielded from doing so. They fail to achieve a lot of things because they have not been given a chance in life. This is very similar to Wollstonecraft’s depiction of the role of women in the society. Lucy and other female characters in the Lucy poems are not allowed to speak for themselves. They are silent individuals who are not at all independent. The poet uses a lot of symbolism and metaphors such as an image of a retreating moon. It actually emphasizes the importance of looking beyond ones lover.
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