Women: Rhetoric and Daniel Defoe

Topics: Rhetoric, Woman, Writing Pages: 2 (450 words) Published: October 22, 2012
Romela Deguzman
Women back then were seen inferior to men. They were labeled delicate, dependent, ignorant, or weak. Their central aim was only marriage but most intriguingly, education was deprived from women because of their sex. Mary Wollstonecraft and Daniel Defoe, both renowned writers wrote essays that demand justice and fight for the education of women. They believed they were capable and as intelligent as men. Wollstonecraft and Defoe created outstanding pieces known for its strength and most importantly its effectiveness to deliver their message across.

Mary Wollstonecraft wrote the essay “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” on 1792. She used rhetorical devices such as counterargument and analogy to prove her point. For example, one of the counterargument she uses is “…the female in point of strength is…inferior to the male…This is the law of nature…” pg. 640. She agrees that women are not as physically strong as men but argues that they could still be as educated and talented as them. She also used analogy such as “…like the flowers which are planted in too rich a soil, strength and usefulness are sacrificed to beauty…” pg. 639. In this analogy, she is trying to express that women are being used for adornments just like flowers; but they shouldn’t allow themselves to be objects of adoration but use their morals and intelligence to match men. With the help of rhetoric, her message about women was effectively delivered.

Daniel Defoe, the author of “The Education of Women” also used rhetoric to convey his message about giving women equal education as men. One of the devices he employed was analogy. “The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond; and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear” pg. 648. He is trying to say that everyone is valuable and unique just like a diamond, but we need education to rise or bring out the best...
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