Kate Chopin's 'Declaration Of Sentiments'

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It is hard to imagine the suppression and adversity women lived with only a few centuries ago. Our history has alluded to an inequality of women among men, telling us that women did not deserve the same inalienable rights; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments’, these are spelled out quite specifically and are drawn on by her own personal experience which speak loudly for the voice of women in the mid 1800’s. It is through the work of Stanton and her supporters that women today have the rights and choices they do and through the writings of Chopin and Wollstonecraft which provide an insightful look into the suppressed yet intellectual nature of the women of their day. The contemporary…show more content…
We learn that Louise Mallard is a strong and intellectual woman although legally bound to her husband. Upon the news of his death, though feeling some grief, she rejoiced that she would at last have a future filled with freedom. The story concludes with her husband being very much alive and Louise dying of a heart attack at the news of this (Chopin, 1984). Having given over completely to the thought of her female independence then realizing it wasn’t going to happen was enough to kill her. Wollstonecraft, a European author, also wrote about the oppression of women. Her essay, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, was written in response to the new French Constitution in 1792, following the French Revolution which declared women excluded from all public areas. She asks the question, ‘What achievement suggests one person is more important than the other?’ Virtue is, she writes, the virtues of freedom to make your own decisions about your life and your family (Wollstonecraft, 1792). She also suggested that a woman who is educated and is allowed to practice the virtues of life will become an equal and not a dependent of her husband. What women must have felt at being officially excluded from public areas among other oppressive social behaviors was likely beyond humiliating. The courage and bravery at writing such an essay during this era truly deserves some
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