Senior Project Advisor
Hillard, Molly Clark, 1971-
Feminist theory, Austen, Wollsonecraft
In Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women, she argues that the social circumstances, rather than the physical biology, of women promotes both bodily and intellectual weakness, and that this could be largely remedied through improved education. Throughout her novel, Mansfield Park, Jane Austen also critiques female education and fragility, though draws these to larger themes of sex-based subordination and domestic colonization. Taken together, both authors add to a discourse that increasingly portrays women as slaves of the society and of the state, and it is accomplished using themes of education and marriage. However similar, their critiques do differ in one important aspect: Austen seems to view the marriage market as the ultimate determining factor in women’s subordination (with lacking education as a symptom of that problem), whereas Wollstonecraft argues that lacking education forms the basis for all other oppressions. Using both Austen’s novel and Wollstonecraft’s theory, I hope to combine, expand, and complicate their arguments to illuminate the connections they draw between women, education, and slavery.
Farwell, Megan, "Ornamental Education and its Relationship to Marriage: The Connections Between Women and Slaves" (2006). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 169.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Women--Education--Great Britain--History--18th century; Marriage--Great Britain--History--18th century
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Wollstonecraft, Mary, 1759-1797. Vindication of the rights of women; Wollstonecraft, Mary, 1759-1797--Political and social views; Austen, Jane, 1775-1817. Mansfield Park; Austen, Jane, 1775-1817--Political and social views
student projects; term papers
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