Anna Barbauld’s poem The Rights of Women is an inconsistent poem that has a conflicting topic that starts with the plural Rights and ends with the word women. These differing words are used to illustrate the central theme of the poem, which begins with a revolution of women, but closes with a warning on the effects of this revolution. These societal occurrences motivated and influenced the poet into creating the poem.
The poet created several lines of in the poem to illustrate the conflicts that emanated from the revolution. For example, an individual must rule, but cannot be free (20). The poet shows how feminism is full of controversies since it was established. The line presents the poet intentions by showing the most central theme of conflict in the poem, but the arguments originated from the poet’s internal conflict. The statement also explains that the author must have enjoyed her popularity but did not did experience the subject matter as other female artists did. Furthermore, the structure of the poem was developed in such a way that it illustrates the resonant, which is an internal conflict and the central motive of the writer.
The first stanza of the poem starts with the internal conflict calling to a woman and not women as described in the poem’s title (1). The poet continues to illustrate the implication of contradiction in line three and four of the poem. Whereby, the ruling in law means controlling in reason and logic. However, inclosing an empire above the breast means ruling based on emotions and the issues of the heart. Moreover, the poet seems to be lamenting how women rule without using their hearts.
The second stanza of the poem illustrates further internal conflict, which demonstrates beauty and ornamentation. Moreover, the poet asks men to reduce their pride and show off while comparing women to divinity (7-8). For instance, if the male community cannot boasts of their rule then women should express their representation to religion. The contradiction illustrates the thought of inferred conflict in the poem. The poet also uses tools of women to indicate an association and disagreement between the sources of man’s misunderstandings between one another and woman’s conflict and the male society. Additionally, Anna states that the rights of women are felt and not defined if debated it disappear like the sacred mysteries (14). Just like the mysteries of the gospel, the rights of women have been made mysterious. The statement also illustrates the challenges the poet experienced while writing the poem because it devalued the matters she as trying to claim and prove.
Apart from this, the poet used the first six stanzas to present the theme of conflict between man and woman. These sections discuss a more complex and parallel argument about how women rule men. For instance, the poet, makes the readers understand that it was time for the women to assert themselves in the society and gain dominance within the male-dominated context. The last two stanzas of the poem illustrate a shift of the central theme whereby, the poets, expects her hopes expressed in the first six sections to be right and women to gain their dominance, which they will not manage to hold. Furthermore, they will always soften their rules and do away with their pride when ruling men (27-28). Finally, in the poet’s last stanza, the line illustrates that women desire to rule over men is not natural and will be wasted. Therefore, conflict is not permanent, and nature will not allow women to rule over men because their love will take over their pride and anger.
Jane Austen Persuasion is a reflection of her life, and it mainly presents the depressed qualities of her experience after she rejects Captain Wentworth the original marriage proposal. She uses Anne as a character with many admirable traits different from other characters around her. The author explores the social relationship between people in the middle-class society living in refined society using Anne as her heroin. She makes readers understand that Anne gave up her relationship with Wentworth after friends and relatives telling her the relationship was not good because Wentworth was not a good man for her (110). Therefore, the author develops the action around Anne reacquainted with Wentworth.
The conflict in the novel occurs in various contexts, the Kellynch Hall, Anne’s ancestral home, the country village of Uppercross and the city of Bath where Austen explores what constitutes a good marriage between the affluent and the underprivileged. The author feels that people move up social classes through marriage and the navigational profession. The characters in the novel are used to defend the principles and customs used to define societal constructions. Additionally, Austen asks whether it is good to remain in one’s opinions or to be vulnerable to the recommendations of others. For example, Captain Wentworth believes that the woman he was to marry is supposed to be intelligent and have an independent mind. On the other hand, Anne assumes that these are good qualities but remains receptive to a sense of obligation (19). Therefore, the author used these characters to make the readers judge whether persuasion is an optimistic or undesirable influence in the novel.
The most important subject matter in Persuasion is the effect of class distinction where the author uses irony and satire to illustrate the Victorian class inflexibility and its outdated societal values. She uses a realistic representation of families and characters to capture the major defects of the society. Moreover, she used understatements and overstatements to represents major ideas like social relationships between people of different classes in the novel, which illustrates her negative attitude towards the Victorian class division.
A Receipt for Writing a Novel by Mary Alcock is a satirical comment on the typicality of devices writers use in their literary works. She commented on the formulaic content depicted in the contemporary novels. In the poem, the poet advises female writers of the cultural construction that were very common during the current period. The poet mainly complained of the repetitive material that was common among writers. She says these stories supply the female pen that is frequently circulated without any changes (7). Additionally, the poets used the poem to illustrate how poetry was expended as an anecdote to the fragmentation of the novel, and it became a means of reflectiveness, comprehensiveness, as well as the wholeness of concepts. Alcock advises female novelist to develop characters with virtuous traits people can identify, and use of vivid descriptions was not an accurate representation of activities practiced by the writers. Lastly, the poet used a satirical tone to make the readers understand the challenges the novelists were experiencing while creating the novels.
This article has discussed the role of reason and emotion of Anna Barbauld’s poem The Rights of Women and Jane Austen Persuasion by examining the artists’ feelings and motives that inspired their writings. The artists’ previous experiences influenced their works, and the literary materials are a reflection of their lives. Barbauld’s poem explores issues of conflict between men and women. Austen’s Persuasion presents issues of social relationships between middle-class men and womenfolk living in a community not influenced by political and economic problems. Austen used a satiric mood to illustrate the adverse effects of the class division during the Victorian period. Finally, Alcock’s A Receipt for Writing a Novel is a satirical comment on the prescribed structure of contemporary novels that opened the discussion for a more serious issues like feminism and if you are interested you can go read these essays about feminism for more information.