This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Authority Represented In Three Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Texts By Women

2124 words - 9 pages

Women writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries faced many difficulties in writing and publishing their work, in a world where women were seen to be the intellectual and moral inferiors of men. However, several women writers of this time period both implicitly and explicitly criticized the institutions that bound them: class, marriage, social conventions and religion. In their writings, Mary Astell, Mary Carleton and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu find ways in which to challenge the authority of the patriarchal society, and much of their criticisms are shared, although the manner in which they construct their arguments differ. To varying degrees, these writers acknowledge the social ...view middle of the document...

.." (2284). By observing how Astell makes, and then partially recants an assertion, we can see her complicated relationship to authority. Rather than taking her back and forth logic for intellectual weakness, readers in the twenty-first century can understand Astell's position; if she criticized male authority too openly, she could have (at the very least) lost her audience altogether. In order to effect any change in the treatment of women, Astell had to appeal to those in power: men. And alienating those men by attacking their superiority, or by appearing more intelligent than they, would prove useless. Astell seems to be appealing logically for the barest minimum men might be expected to give. Religious authority is not so much criticized in Astell's essay, as it is used to back up her argument. She appeals to reason within a religious framework, and names male pride as a great detriment to the fair treatment of women: But pride, which makes everything serve its purposes, wrested this passion from its only use, so that instead of being an antidote against sin, it is become a grand promoter of it, nothing making us more worthy of that contempt we show, than when (poor, weak, dependent creatures as we are!) we look down with scorn and disdain on others (2281).Implicitly, Astell is asserting women's moral equality, if not superiority, over men. Men sin with pride, and women become virtuous by patiently submitting to their husband's treatment, as "[h]ereafter may make amends for what she must be prepared to suffer here" (2283). Astell uses a thinly disguised sarcasm to criticize the patriarchal and colonialist world she lives in, and compares marriage to empire building. In several places in the text, she lists male achievements, lauding men's "vast minds", "superior sex" and "wisdom and courage" (2283). However, in listing the great achievements of the nobler sex, Astell makes those acts of creation seems like children's games by juxtaposing them with similar acts of destruction: Have not they founded empires and overturned them? Do not they make laws and continually repeal them and amend them? Their vast minds lay kingdoms waste; no bounds or measures can be prescribed to their desires. War and peace depend on them...[w]hat is it they cannot do? They make worlds and ruin them...(2283). Having established a logical basis for questioning male authority in general, Astell moves that criticism into the realm of marriage. She describes the institution of marriage as a benefit for men, but not so for women. If marriage is the only possible social outcome for women, and it is inevitable as God's law, and if men (as she argues it) must act superior to women, then women must submit to their husband's authority. In Astell's world, it was simply not possible, or at lest very difficult, to live any other way. The only hope Astell gives to women regarding marriage is education. The value of the learning that men receive...

Other Papers Like Authority Represented In Three Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Texts By Women

18th Century Women and Family Essay

2924 words - 12 pages traditional roles of its members. By mid-eighteenth century the demographic changes were evident. In England, for example, the majority of the population no longer worked on the land. These changes spread throughout Europe. The shift from self-sufficiency impacted on the family. Women and children now had to contribute financially because wages were not sufficiently high enough for a man to solely support his family. The practice of women working was

"It Is Circumstance That Enables Us To Reinvent Ourselves And The World Around Us" Discuss In Relation To 'Life Of Pi' And Three Related Texts Of Your Choice

1706 words - 7 pages world and open his mind to a more developed view of the "yeastless factuality" of trash which was experienced by the general public. Circumstance in regard to society - late 20th century- influenced Junger's conceptual and material reinventions of practice through his use of simple, clean forms, clarity of line, absence of elaborate detail and new ideas concerning Junger's new found license for unorthodoxy as attributes of both Modernist and

How Themes and Ideas Are Represented in Mandragora

974 words - 4 pages Mandragora Essay How The themes & Ideas are represented in mandragora 100 years after the Dunarling shipwreck, two youngsters discovered dolls hidden secretly in a cave. These youngsters Adam Hardy and Catriona Chisholm, along with them were the school bullies, Richard Vernon and Mike Carter. The dolls discovered were 'Swith' who was cursed with fire, 'Agley' with mischance, 'Smeddum' with foulness and 'Snell' was cursed with the final

Women And Society During The Early 20th Century

1774 words - 8 pages Women and Society during the early 20th Century Women always had to deal with all kinds of situations throughout history. Sex was becoming to be a woman’s way of expressing herself and in a way have control over certain situation Edith Wharton’s "Summer" and John Steinbeck’ s "The Chrysanthemums" show two characters (both of them women) struggling between society‘s rules and laws and their own believes and desires. Both

Analysis Of Semantics And Pragmatics In Two Texts

1518 words - 7 pages connotation meaning, the four maxims and hedges. Analysing Article One We will begin by observing the semantic and pragmatic features in article 1 being "Men are sulks say surveys" .This article is taken from the hot topics section of the popular msn website. The main topic of this article is a medical concept being flu/cold, where the unspecified writer of this article discusses the reaction of men, compared to women when it comes to having flu. The

How Has Your Understanding Of The Concept 'The Creation And The Fall', Been Enriched By The Study Of Prescribed Texts In Term One?

965 words - 4 pages and Eve by Satan and follows their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Genesis and Paradise Lost have similar ideological belief, language and concept. There are also factors that set them apart, such as Paradise Lost being in a different style of writing, different types of recount and the fact that Paradise Lost is based on Genesis which results in changed belief over time. There are also flaws that exist when ideas in Paradise Lost co-exist

Discuss How Class Conflict Is Represented In A Streetcar Named Desire. (A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams)

1299 words - 6 pages Class conflict is represented throughout the play, A Streetcar Named Desire in various ways through characters, symbols, ideas and language. Characters such as Blanche, Stella, Mitch and Stanley are used throughout the text to represent the upper and lower classes, as well as the conflict between the two classes. Symbols, ideas and language help to define the different classes as well as helping to represent the conflict between classes. The

The Punjabi Immigrants’ Perspective on British Culture Represented by Major Characters in Hanif Kureishi’s “My Son the Fanatic”

1660 words - 7 pages is that he follows it and does not decline it as well. He loves England because in England he can do whatever he wants (2008: 12) like drinking alcohol, going with every person, and eating pork. He thinks that drinking alcohol is not wrong to be done by a human (2008: 10). He walks with female prostitute, Bettina, because he thinks it is right. It is proven by the length of the time they become friends, which is for three years (2008: 7). He sees

Authority in the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Grow Your Own

1699 words - 7 pages regulations, and who has the right and power to enforce them. Both these forms of authority must be ground in wisdom and knowledge in order to perform at their best. Authority is often represented through texts, by exploring different techniques. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was written by John Boyne and tells the story of a nine-year-old boy, Bruno, who lives in Germany during World War II. He comes across a death-camp near his new home, where he

Business And Marketing In 20th Century Art

1359 words - 6 pages institutions such as galleries and auction houses have, through the circulation and validation of art work, played a major role in enhancing the stature of the artist from craftsman to one of eminence.Artists of the twentieth century work in a speculative based system, where those works produced by the artist have no guarantee of sale. For Renaissance and Baroque artists, especially those executing large works, all cash expenditure, for example the cost

Race and Racism in the 21st Century

1861 words - 8 pages the essay will outline the meaning of race and racism in the 21st century. It will then go on to discuss processes of exclusion, which are reinforced by the media and politicians representation of black migrants and the existence of so called ‘White spaces’. These exclusions of black people can be seen to prevent them from identifying as British thus excluding them from being part of ‘the Union Jack’. Whilst the concept of racism has been

Related Essays

Do The Texts In Richard Strauss' Don Juan And Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion Present A Straightforward Contrast Between Male Figures Of Authority And Passive Women?

2067 words - 9 pages Do the texts in Richard Strauss' Don Juan and Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion seem to present a straightforward contrast between male figures of authority and passive women?Both Richard Strauss and Bernard Shaw adapt from popular myth and legend in their work Don Juan (1888-1889) and Pygmalion (1912). Like the original, their male characters have position of dominance over the female characters. But Strauss and Shaw also weave a twist into their

Discuss The Role Of Women As Represented In Art, Photography Or Advertising Through Comparison And Contrast Of The Work And Intentions Of At Least Three Artists From Different Time Periods. What Role...

1767 words - 8 pages Question no. 5 'Men act, woman appear', Berger wrote.  Discuss the role of women as represented in art, photography or advertising through comparison and contrast of the work and intentions of at least three artists from different time periods. What role did men play during the period being discussed, and how were they represented? At least one of the artists discussed should be contemporary; discuss changes in representation of women, and why

Marriage In Seventeenth Century England: The Woman’s Story

2366 words - 10 pages Marriage in Seventeenth-Century England: The Woman’s Story Alice Brabcová University of West Bohemia, Plzeň The seventeenth century represents a fascinating period of English history, drawing the attention of whole generations of historians. This turbulent age saw three major events that had a deep impact on England’ s political as well as social life—the English Revolution, the Restoration of the Stuarts in 1660 and the Glorious

Women In The 19th Century Essay

585 words - 3 pages AP US History 12/16/13 Throughout the 19th century, women were becoming more and more crucial to American society. People who were previously looked upon as weaklings who needed to be protected were now contributing to society, yet they were still looked down upon. Women took up jobs in factories, working in mills and manufacturing. Other women worked as field hands, and some were even just as capable as men at working in the fields. Even