A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft

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What emotional words does Wollstonecraft use in the first paragraph of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman?

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In the first paragraph of the dedication (to Mr. Talleyrand-Perigord, an active leader in the French Revolution), Wollstonecraft uses the words "independence" and "humanity" - although these don't seem to be emotionally-charged words, they would be emotional in appealing to someone sympathetic to the French Revolution, a movement intended to give more rights and power to the people (rather than allowing most of the power to remain in the hands of the aristocracy). Wollstonecraft clearly notes a parallel between the revolution and the women's rights movement. 

You will find more emotionally-charged words in the first paragraph to the introduction. Being discouraged that women still do not have rights equal to that of men, she begins: 

After thinking about the sweep of history and viewing the present world with anxious care, I find my spirits depressed by the most melancholy emotions of sorrowful indignation

She notes that the lack of education is responsible for the "misery" women face. 

In the opening paragraph of the first chapter, Wollstonecraft is much more logical, pointing out the systemic reasons for the subjugation of women. She appeals to men, saying that since reason is what sets humans apart from animals, they should use that reason to uproot rather than justify their (men's) prejudices against women. Here we see Wollstonecraft using logic and reason (called "logos"), as well as emotion (called "pathos") to get her points across. 

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