Second Assignment: Primary Source Analysis 2
For this assignment, you will be comparing the ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wolistonecraft based on excerpts from their writings: Emile, or On Education and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman In. For additional background information, it may be helpful to refer to Spielvogel, pgs. 512-513. ei The assignment is due March 26.
*Please note that you are to consult the Writing Centre with your assignment prior to submission. You will lose marks for not following instructions if you do not.*
NO OUTSIDE SOURCES ALLOWED- Consult only the assigned readings.
How does Mary Wolistonecraft argue in favour of women’s education and how do her arguments refute Rousseau’s ideas concerning the nature and education of women?
,and how do her arguments refute Rousseau’s ideas concerning the nature and education of women?
Write a response to the question above that is 4-5 pages long, double-spaced, Times New Roman font (do not go over the limit!)
***ONLY the assigned readings may be used. NO outside sources whatsoever***
****Please be careful to paraphrase properly in your assignment L51*******
Specifically: use the longer Rousseau and Wollstonecraft readings posted on Canvas (not the shorter versions in the Spielvogel). However, you may refer to the Spielvogel for background information on the authors as well the “Woman’s Question!’
You will be graded on how well you followed instructions, as well as citing/paraphrasing, thesis, organization, writing and argumentation.
Structure of the Paper & Formatting
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft were both influential thinkers of the 18th century. While they both wrote about education and the nature of women, their views differed significantly. This paper will compare and contrast their ideas based on excerpts from their writings, Emile, or On Education and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
Background Information on Rousseau and Wollstonecraft
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a French philosopher, writer, and composer who lived from 1712 to 1778. He is best known for his work The Social Contract and his contributions to the Enlightenment movement. Rousseau’s ideas on education were laid out in his book Emile, or On Education, which was published in 1762.
Mary Wollstonecraft was a British writer, philosopher, and women’s rights activist who lived from 1759 to 1797. Her most famous work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which was published in 1792. In this book, Wollstonecraft argues for the education and empowerment of women.
Rousseau’s Views on Women’s Nature and Education
Rousseau’s views on women’s nature were influenced by his belief that men and women are fundamentally different. He believed that women were naturally weaker than men and that they were more suited for domestic life. In Emile, Rousseau writes, “The education of women should always be relative to men. To please them, to be useful to them, to make themselves loved and honored by them, to raise them when they are young, to care for them when they are old, to counsel them, to console them, and to make life sweet and pleasant for them – these are the duties of women.”
Rousseau believed that women’s education should focus on developing domestic skills and virtues. He believed that women should be taught to be obedient, modest, and chaste. In Emile, he writes, “The first quality that distinguishes a good wife from a bad one is obedience. … The second virtue of a wife is modesty, and the third chastity.”
Wollstonecraft’s Views on Women’s Nature and Education
Wollstonecraft disagreed with Rousseau’s views on women’s nature and education. She believed that men and women were fundamentally equal and that women should receive the same education as men. In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she writes, “I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”
Wollstonecraft argued that women’s education should focus on developing reason and virtue, rather than domestic skills. She believed that women should be taught to think critically and independently. In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she writes, “Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.”
Comparing and Contrasting Rousseau and Wollstonecraft’s Views
Rousseau and Wollstonecraft had fundamentally different views on the nature and education of women. Rousseau believed that women were naturally suited for domestic life and that their education should focus on developing domestic skills and virtues. Wollstonecraft, on the other hand, believed that women were fundamentally equal to men and that their education should focus on developing reason and virtue.
Wollstonecraft’s arguments directly refuted Rousseau’s ideas concerning the nature and education of women. She argued that women should not be limited to domestic life and that they should be given the same education as men. She believed that women should be taught to think critically and independently, rather than being taught to be obedient and chaste.