Rousseau and Wollstonecraft and Women's Education Comparison Essay by Quality Writers

Rousseau and Wollstonecraft and Women's Education
This paper discusses Jean-Jacques Rousseau's and Mary Wollstonecraft's thoughts on the education of women.
# 104858 | 1,978 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jun 24, 2008 in Women Studies (Feminism) , Women Studies (General)

$39.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


In this article, the writer notes that the 18th century in Europe was a period of tremendous reconsideration of old patterns and viewpoints of thought, belief and practice, in many fields of human endeavour including politics, religion and the relations between the sexes. The writer then points out that two important thinker / writers of the Enlightenment movement were Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France, and Mary Wollstonecraft in England, who by simultaneously rejecting received tradition and advocating a type of naturalistic individualism managed in their separate and unique ways to form a bridge between the Enlightenment and Romanticism. The writer further discusses that at least in their advocacy of women's education and despite Wollstonecraft's noted disagreement with Rousseau, they shared much in common in terms of their outlook and innovative proposals.

From the Paper:

"It fits into the then-popular genre of conduct book, essentially works of practical morality and etiquette and the ancestor of today's more sophisticated works on pedagogy intended for popular audiences. Although Wollstonecraft probably had read Rousseau's work by the time she wrote it, nowhere is Rousseau directly mentioned in it, as he is in her more well-known later work, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, in which Rousseau's ideals of woman are severely critiqued. In fact, what is most interesting about the earlier work currently under analysis is not its overt disagreements with Rousseau, but its similarities. This comes as something of a surprise given Wollstonecraft's place in the canon of feminist authors, i.e. that she shares aspects of her viewpoint with the notably less feminist Rousseau. It is worthy of note that despite the title of the work in question, most references therein are to young "persons," or to the "child" in the neutral sense, and only specific chapters, notably those on matrimony, love, dress, etc., are clearly oriented toward women's education in particular."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Johnston, Ian. "Basic Historical Issues in Feminism: An Introduction to The Second Sex." Malaspina University-College, 1997.
  • Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Emile, or, On Education. Trans. Barbara Foxley. Project Gutenberg.
  • Wollstonecraft, Mary. Thoughts on the Education of Daughters. Reprints of Economic Classics Series. Clifton NJ: August M. Kelley 1972.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Rousseau and Wollstonecraft and Women's Education (2008, June 24) Retrieved July 21, 2017, from

MLA Format

"Rousseau and Wollstonecraft and Women's Education" 24 June 2008. Web. 21 July. 2017. <>