woll and moliere - Zenni 1 Moliere and Wollstonecraft Set...

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Zenni 1 Moliere and Wollstonecraft: Set Free the Chains of Women While reading Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women and Moliere’s The School For Wives , it is not hard to catch on to the fact that although they go about it in two very different ways, they are both rooting for the same team: femininity. While Wollstonecraft is very blunt and eager to the point, Moliere renders his ideas through a humorous and lighthearted play. They are in agreement on the fact that during this time period women were being deprived of one very important thing that helps shape not only their lives but their identities as well: education. They deem that these women were being locked away and deprived from a fair life. They also touch on the fact that marriage is a large part of society and should be taken seriously, not just another day-to-day thing. They believe that education for women would not only better the society as a whole but better all marriages as well. Throughout both Wollstonecraft’s and Moliere’s texts, it is clear to see that they feel as though the women in their society were being locked away. They were kept hidden from the rest of society therefore not allowing them to expand as a person and learn how to live a fulfilled life. In Moliere, Agnes plays a young woman who was locked away at an early age and placed into an institution called The School for Wives. Her soon-to-be husband, Arnolphe, chose her to be his wife when she was a child, so he felt as though he had the superiority to control and mold her life into the desires of his own. In this school they were only taught how to be a proper woman and a good wife. Arnolphe gives her a book titled Marital Maxins and demands that she reads and learns
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Zenni 2 the ways of womanhood from it. In this text, Agnes reads, “What’s a wife allowed to do? What her husband tells her to. She’s as much a good or chattel as his house and land and cattle. She must never leave the house unless accompanied by her spouse: girls who venture out of doors meet young men and end up whores.” (228) This quote is a direct example of how the young women of this time period were treated as if they were property rather than a human being. Unlike the other men, they were locked away, not properly educated and forced to read books that filled their heads with unrealistic duties taking away all of their independence and right to live their lives freely. In Wollstonecraft’s
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2012 for the course ENGL 1010 taught by Professor Collins during the Spring '11 term at Auburn University.

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woll and moliere - Zenni 1 Moliere and Wollstonecraft Set...

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