Daniel Defoe

Start Your Free Trial

What are some rhetorical devices used in "The Education of Women" by Daniel Defoe?

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write1,683 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Daniel Defoe begins the essay with emotive language, juxtaposing the "barbarous" custom of failing to educate women with the "civilized and Christian" country we imagine ourselves to inhabit. This type of pathos is evident throughout the essay, both in the negative descriptions of uneducated women and men and in the idealized figure of the well-educated woman, who is described in hyperbolic terms:

A woman well bred and well taught, furnished with the additional accomplishments of knowledge and behaviour, is a creature without comparison. Her society is the emblem of sublimer enjoyments, her person is angelic, and her conversation heavenly. She is all softness and sweetness, peace, love, wit, and delight.

Defoe juxtaposes the natural talents and virtues of women with the lowly position they occupy in society as the servants and subordinates of men, concluding:

I cannot think that God Almighty ever made them so delicate, so glorious creatures; and furnished them with such charms, so agreeable...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1,036 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ester Baumgartner, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookPh.D. from University of Miami (Fla.)


calendarEducator since 2016

write775 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Arts, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial