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The Rights of Woman

The Rights of Woman

  

by Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Analysis: Allusions

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

The title of Anna Barbauld's poem is clearly a reference to Mary Wollstonecraft's feminist manifesto, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which was published earlier in the same year as Barbauld's poem. Wollstonecraft argued that women should be given equal education and a chance to prove that they could be useful members of society, instead of frilly ornaments wearing hoop skirts and corsets.

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