Friday, December 02, 2005

Romantic Musings 11

Term’s almost over. We’re getting heavily into the early feminist movements now with Wollstonecraft. I really have a hard time believing just how sexist the world was up until the late 20th century (and still is…but I like to think we’ve progressed at least a little ways). The whole movement was really a response to the fact that the status of women hadn’t changed a whole lot since Classical Greece. There were STILL a lot of men who thought that women were animalistic beings who needed to be kept in the house and carefully trained so they wouldn’t succumb to their baser urges. I’m relatively sure that said men wanted to BE in said house to succumb to HIS baser urges. Ahem.

Wollstonecraft has an excellent and fluent style of writing. And she makes her points very well, and very poetically. “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” reads well, certainly easier than Coleridge’s “Doctoral Thesis Prelude to Literary Ballads”. The language isn’t quite as formal as Paine’s stuff, but its got that old air of formal structure to it. It is, simply, really good writing. And it makes sense, and I think its complaints are still VERY applicable today.

I’m thinking that I prefer the prose in this course to the poetry. The prose is interesting, but a lot of the poetry seems very dry. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but some of the poems we’ve been reading have just been either very dry or very dense. While the prose is similarly dense, much of it has a wonderful flair to it. Its sometimes more pleasurable to read than the poems.