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Critically compare Wollstonecraft, Austen and Goethe on women and love.

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Critically compare Wollstonecraft, Austen and Goethe on women and love. The late 18th and 19th century was the beginning of a phenomenon which now is referred to as the Enlightenment period. Philosophers globally shared ideas and knowledge on various theories and began a new way of thinking on issues which previously had been swept aside and were considered taboo topics. The concept of feminism is both a political and intellectual movement. It is a form of seeking justice and equality in genders of all form (Haslanger and Tuana). The issue of feminism was introduced by philosophers and theorists in the early 18th-19th century. It began to be widely recognised as an issue in society with the introduction of Mary Wollstonecraft theories in her book titled 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman which first was published in 1792. Shortly following Wollstonecraft, other theorists at the period also introduced their ideas in relation to the topic of women and such. Jane Austen, a famous novelist introduced the topic of women rights and other feminist ideas in her novels. The prime multi-selling novel which explored the theme of feminism and love was in her novel 'Pride and Prejudice'. ...read more.


However on the other hand, Austen through her main characters to the story presents to the reader that true love is an element excluded from society and one that can be conquered even with the most difficult periods. Another important fact which Austen was a keen observer on throughout her novels was the fact of a woman's reputation and how she was seen in her society. A woman must behave in a certain manner once she is in the outside domain if she steps out of these social norms it makes her vulnerable to judgement from the society she lives in and will result in her isolation and degradation within her community. Austen treats reputation of a female in this novel very seriously especially when Lydia elopes with Wickham and lives with him out of wedlock. The happy ending of Pride and Prejudice is very emotionally pleasing, but in many ways it leaves the theme of reputation, and the importance placed on reputation, unexplored (Douthat). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published his first novel 'The Sorrows of Young Werther' in 1774. The story unfolds as a biography by Werther writing letters talking to his friend Wilhelm about this girl Lotte he's met at a party. ...read more.


Goethe on the other hand did not argue for women's rights or for their expectations, he was merely re-telling a personal story through the use of fictional names and talking about love and what the pain felt like in the time he was in. The issue of woman rights and love can be concluded has originating from the beginning of time. Society has changed and adapted since then but the foundation of feminism dates back to the time of the enlightenment. The struggle for an independent life for woman as Austen and Wollstonecraft both sought for against the widespread culture of females dependence on males can be seen as the legacy and insight that woman in the future generations can follow in suit 1. Goethe's interpretation of love and woman is from a male's perspective and his idea of woman is obviously very highly regarded as by the means of the way he in no means whatsoever disrespects woman and has Werther refer to Lotte in his letters to Wilhelm always in the most brilliant manner. Although woman rights have progressed in the past decade or so as a result of modernity it is still obvious that inequality in field areas such as workplace is still highly evident in regards to gender discrimination. ...read more.

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