Mary Astell and Mary Wollstonecraft are very similar in their beliefs. Both women wrote about education, a woman’s position and human rights. Astell’s devotion and adovaction of equal educational opportunities earned her the title as “the first english feminist”. In “Some Reflections Upon Marriage”, Astell encourages women to seek out a marriage with friendship rather than money and necessity. Thus, Astell would have been against the idea of “courtship marriage”; women not having a voice in whom their suitor would be. There are some quotes from her works that I find very intriguing:
“Your glass will not do you half so much service as a serious reflection on your own minds”. —A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Part I
“How can you be content to be in the world like tulips in a garden, to make a fine show, and be good for nothing”. —A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Part I
“Women are from their very infancy debarred those Advantages with the want of which they are afterwards reproached”. —A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Part I
“Women need not take up with mean things, since (if they are not wanting to themselves) they are capable of the best”. —A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Part I
‘Tis very great pity that they who are so apt to over-rate themselves in smaller matters, shou’d, where it most concerns them to know, and stand upon their Value, be so insensible of their own worth”. —A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Part I
“To introduce poor Children into the World, and neglect to fence them against the temptations of it, and so leave them expos’d to temporal and eternal Miseries, is a wickedness, for which I want a Name; ’tis beneath Brutality; the Beasts are better natur’d for they take care of their off-spring, till they are capable of caring for themselves”.
—A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Part I
I could go on and on copying her quotes, truthfully I love them all…. it is apparent that Astell wanted to be more than an object in a row with other objects; how can a flower stand out among other flowers if they all look the same??? I LOVE this quote, very inspiring!! She has an outspoken voice that I admire and she believes in the rights of female writers.
Mary Wollstonecraft has many of the same views as Astell but as portrayed in the presentation, she had a few marriages and had a daughter whom we all know now as Mary Shelley.
Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”. It is unfortunate that Wollstonecraft did not live a long life. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is a very enjoyable read. I read this book back in high school and I also had the chance to re-read it again in university in one of Dr, Creelman’s classes. I always thought growing up that the name Frankenstein was the name of the monster, when in fact the name comes from the scientist who created the monster. Here is a funny story for you….. in my university english class that we read this story, we all wrote an 8-10 page paper on the novel, I can’t quite remember the essay topics but I remember that part of the process of this paper was to have a draft written in class and we were to pass them around and mark one another’s work. I remember marking someone’s paper that refered to Frankenstein quite frequently as “the monster”. I had to laugh inside my head because it was obvious that this person did not even read the text; they probably just went by memory or something. Anyway, I can only imagine what kind of mark they got and what the professor had to say to them…haha! Anyways, enough of my rambling, I thought I would share that story with you!:-)
Until next time!