February 6th


  1. Who was Gilbert Imlay and what do you think of Wollstonecraft’s relationship with him during her time in Paris? 
  2. To what extent do her first experiences with sexual love, marriage, and parenthood fit her writings on these subjects prior to 1793-4?
  3. How does Wollstonecraft fare during the Terror compared to her other expatriate friends?
  4. Who was Talleyrand and why did Wollstonecraft dedicate the Rights of Woman to him? (67-70)
  5. How do the dedication and introduction to the Rights of Woman function as political frames for the entire text? What political arguments are made in these “frames”? (67-78)
  6. Why does Wollstonecraft draw a distinction between “first principles” and “prejudices?” (79)
  7. What are her “first principles” in her account of human nature? (79)
  8. What “rights and duties” of mankind does she deduce from these principles? (79)
  9. What is her critique of the current state of European civilization? How does she aim to correct its current ailments? (80-86)
  10. What different kinds of hierarchy does Wollstonecraft identify as dangerous for humanity? (80-86)
  11. What allusions to Rousseau’s First Discourse and Second Discourse do you see in this opening chapter of the Rights of Woman?  Why is Rousseau important for Wollstonecraft’s argument?
  12. If you had to sum up the argumentative structure and purpose of the first chapter, how would you do it?
Citation: Botting, E. H. (2007, February 22). February 6th. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from Notre Dame OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.nd.edu/political-science/mary-wollstonecraft-and-mary-shelley/discussion-questions/february-6th.
Copyright 2012, by the Contributing Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License