Essay Sample on Fredrick Douglass and Mary Wollstonecraft Similarities

Published: 2023-05-01
Essay Sample on Fredrick Douglass and Mary Wollstonecraft Similarities
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Slavery Philosophers Social change
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 887 words
8 min read

Fredrick Douglass and Mary Wollstonecraft are among the most famous and most admired philosophers in history when it comes to their pieces of work in moral and social reforms. However, the two philosophers had different arguments, but they all had the same goal, and that is to fight for the rights of the slaves and women, respectively, and their radical opinions persuade the reader to think critically of the best strategies to adopt when handling women or the salves. Both of the authors utilize the Aristotelian rhetorical triangle when conveying their messages even though their material work was published at different periods in history. For instance, Mary wrote her piece of work during the Enlightenment, when the value of logic was being emphasized in all forms of intellectual expression. Besides Wollstonecraft's time, women were mostly thought of as irrational, and that is why she does not use pathos or emotional appeal when conveying her argument so that she proves to the reader or audience that women can be rational thinkers and detach themselves from fervent acts. This paper will evaluate the similarities between the philosophical work of Douglass and Wollstonecraft and their application in today's society.

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In the argument of women's rights, Wollstonecraft emphasizes the use of ethos and logos, which boosts her convincing power to the enlightenment readers and able to prove to them that she is a credible woman. Through the use of matter-of-fact tone, Mary can develop the cause and effect arguments, which shows that those who believe in logic and reason should stop viewing women as illogical or who are easily overcome by their emotions (Wollstonecraft). Also, Wollstonecraft argues that the only primary reason behind women not accomplishing their full potential as rational thinkers is because they are denied the right to education in society.

Moreover, Mary goes ahead and demonstrates ethos through the fact that she is well educated and credible, and she has the power and authority to express her arguments in society. Wollstonecraft emphasizes logos by offering a cause and effect argument in her statement by stating that women's behavior is a result of a lack of education and provides an immediate solution to that kind of problem. Throughout the book, Mary can get the audience's attention by providing them an opportunity by allowing their objections, which brings a more persuasive argument, which later brings enlightenment to men.

On the other hand, Fredrick Douglass shares the same stylistic devices to that of Wollstonecraft by utilizing both the logos and ethos, too, in his arguments of slave dehumanizing. His past experience of being a slave offers a clear description of what slaves go through, and this reveals the use of ethos, which shows he is credible about his argument. Douglass goes ahead and adopts logos stylistics devices by creating a debate that has various supporting examples, which brings out the image of slavery impacts to both the slaves and the slaveholders, making it appear dehumanizing. Through the conveying of his message, he also adopts the use of emotive and impassionate tone, which is similar to the one emphasized by Wollstonecraft, and this shows that the sound grasps the audience from a comprehensive perspective to agree with what they are saying (Douglass).

Douglass explains with deep sorrow the emotional abuse that slaves have been experiencing and uses his example to demonstrate the sailing as a means of freedom. In the use of logos, an author has to use some metaphors to make the meaning more logical and reasonable to the targeted audience. By the employ and use of emotions in the arguments is a clear sign that the audience falls in the same situation and feels convinced because they hear the truth from the firsthand source since he was once a slave.

Application in the World Today

Mary Wollstonecraft and Fredrick Douglass are the true heroes of human beings' rights and in this regard to women's rights and slaves' freedom. Both of the philosophers have been able to change society thinking towards the treatment of each other and how to co-exist peacefully. Most of the women activists acquire their motivations and techniques of mobilizing women's conferences or conveying their messages from Wollstonecraft (Griffin 276). On the other hand, some of the social movement groups, such as the black movement revolution, get their inspiration from the material work of Fredrick Douglass. Modern society has been able to transform, and the racism and undermining of women's rights have reduced in a significant percentage.

In conclusion, the philosophical work of Mary and Fredrick is similar in the way they convey their messages and the styles they employ to get the audience's attention. Also, their work is being taught in schools so that society can bring up a young generation in a civilized manner and avoid the dehumanizing nature of each other irrespective of their gender or skin color. Therefore, it is well recommended that reading the work of any philosopher develops the critical thinking of an individual by analyzing different arguments presented and decide which side to support.

Works Cited

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Dreamscape Media, LLC, 2019.

Griffin, Cindy L. "A web of Reasons: Mary Wollstonecraft's vindication of the Rights of woman and the Reweaving of form." Communication Studies 47.4 (1996): 272-288.

Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Vani Prakashan, 2016.

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