Revolution, Empire, Flowers, and Fragility

Barbauld wrote as a dissenter in defense of democratic government and popular education (1792), and an attack on the newly declared war with France in 1793. Political concerns were never far from her mind. Mary Wollstonecraft used “the egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution as the basis for a sustained appeal for women’s rights” (281). Barbauld says of “white women,” “thy rights are empire: urge no meaner claim” (44). This shows that she is aware of the low political and economic stature of women in comparison to men and considers an empire to be a suitable goal.

In “Eighteen Hundred and Eleven,” speaks of flowers are elements which stand still but do not embody the disastrous surroundings of fragile humans. “In vain with orange-blossoms scents the gale, the hills with olives clothes, with corn the vale” (46-47). The flowers normally would not be used as everlasting or continuous, but she uses them as such in this manner to show a longing for peace and for surety, meaning that affairs were drastic at the time to the point that even vulnerable petaled-flowers could flit-tingly be considered constructed. This befits the revolution, violence begetting violence and factional separations doing away with bonds. Wollstonecraft wondered if white women were despised for being comparable to white men by meritious appeal of white women or if they were simply considered incapable of politics (285). She considered it important for women to be allowed involvement in government as they were thought to have philosophical contributions (289).


~ by boxcar9 on September 27, 2012.

One Response to “Revolution, Empire, Flowers, and Fragility”

  1. This rendition or arrangement of thoughts in consideration of Wollstonecraft is similar to Blake’s perception of the empire and individualism. Blake’s perception is of the notion that individuals are connected and there are drastic elements to the human mind that warrant the falls of empires. Wollstonecraft, as you have noted, was very emotional and wrote accordingly. Barbauld, much like Wollstonecraft, speaks of romanticism as intimacy and introvertedness, like the idea of someone waking up on a winter day. This invigorating perception resonates with the human mind.

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