Born in a low-income family, Margaret Fuller was best known as an unconventional, independent woman. The author, who was also the first author to publish her first book “Woman in the Nineteenth Century” in 1845, was known to fight for women’s rights (Freier 239). Fuller’s education began as early as the age of four years while being supported by her father. At the age of six years, she learned Greek and Latin. All through, Fuller has been studying Roman and Greek classical writers while diving into Cervantes and Shakes. The essay will focus more on the arguments made by Margaret Fuller concerning equal treatment of women in her day’s society.
When Fuller was young, she never went to school rather got educated at home. During this time, she was known as a voracious reader, making her the best reader in New England. Fuller also became the first woman that accessed the Harvard library after getting the interest of researching more on the Great Lakes region book (Freier 242). Her interest in reading made her becomes fluent in modern and classic languages. Since she was always thirsty to read, she felt unequal with other girls of the same age.
Fuller became less interested in girlish games and more conventional in pursuing her career with the desire to become a journalist. In 1836, Fuller’s father died, and this changed her life. The worst part is that she never benefited from the estate left with her father; instead, they went to her two uncles who were not mentioned as beneficiaries. When Fuller saw this, she was forced to look for a job in Boston (Freier 246). In 1839, Fuller and her family went to Jamaica, and this is where she started forming women’s discussion groups to talk about the role of women in communities specifically.
In 1839, the Dial Company offered Fuller a full-time job to edit the Transcendentalist’s magazine. The magazine was an influential philosophical movement formed in the nineteenth century because citizens wanted a transformation to take place concerning the religious dogmas (Freier 251). Fuller accepted the offer, and this made her the leader of the Transcendentalist movement. Even though she was sympathetic about the campaign, she applied most reservations.
Margaret Fuller’s Arguments
Growing confidently as a writer, Fuller decided to concentrate more on women’s role and female emancipation. By 1845, she published her first book to elaborate more on the part of women in societies and the part they are required to play (Freier 258). In this journey, Fuller learned deeply about the rights of women and the future of feminism. Throughout her life, Fuller always criticized and highlighted more on the rights of women.
Even though she maintained the religious note, she always argued that women are not supposed to be grated as an indulgence by men. Fuller argued that God gave everyone rights and that women deserve equal treatment through their privileges and rights. The paper will also elaborate on Fuller’s view on wife and husband marriage equality and equal opportunities for women in employment, and as immortal beings. The paper will also discuss why women’s participation in decision making is essential.
Fuller grew up knowing that all she needed to do to understand her father is by reading his letters sent while in Washington. In this period, Fuller realized that justification was a sensitive matter and that female education is the only way to influence women concerning libertine life. Even though her book was discredited, she argued that women need new interpretations of their rights to reform others (Freier 261). In this debate, Fuller mentioned that marriage is an intellectual companionship where both partners have equal rights.
Fuller draws silently concerning the ideas and language of the explanation of women's rights. For instance, she uses Wollstonecraft's argument that "women came to earth to unfold their faculties and not to fulfil their opinion." In short, Wollstonecraft meant that women were created for men. In return, Fuller argues that "it's only a few men who believe that women were created for them” (Freier 266). Fuller believed that women’s needs are to unfold their power by leaving their homes to be heard in society. Both Wollstonecraft and Fuller argued that women’s intellectual development is not through formal education but takes place when they remake their minds.
Fuller’s argument also concerns women’s rights to power, self-dependence, and religion. Fuller did this by challenging the biblical perspective, which claims that man’s position is above a woman as he is the protector and provider as created by God (Priel 400). Fullers claimed that American men are raised in a way that women have no authority over them. In this case, women must be silent because the man is known to be the head of the house. This debate is shocking to the reader because it makes them understand how versatile it is to deny women their rights at work, marriage, and sex.
One chapter in Fuller’s book shows that a husband and wife become one in law. Fuller believed that marriage is an equal partnership, which is why she calls it “Fellow pilgrims” (Priel 409). Fuller argues that the relationship between the wife and husband should be spiritual and lower red to one gender. In this case, the husband should not be the dominating one, but instead, he should always support, treat, and respect the needs of the wife equally.
Fuller is a romance author in both mere feelings of too many emotions because she believes that those are the principles that will redress her promises as a woman. Her transcendental idealism showed that her emotional turmoil and inner self are released to address the rights of women at the root (Steel 194). According to her, universal and self-justice lead to a non-nonfactual strategy for a person to change.
Fuller’s argument can be considered sequential, complementary because of the steps she takes to create her strategies. A suitable example given is the Massachusetts Pastoral letter and how it was prohibiting women’s speech, including the legal definition of women’s moral (Sklar 120). While alluding to the controversies, Fuller uses her knowledge by stating that women’s voices should arise from the printed page and podium to allow them to claim their natural law and harmony.
Fuller evokes the law by saying that “the rights of women should begin with a dialogue followed by inviting the husband for a discussion to ensure that they share their knowledge and claims.” Also, since marriage is an equal partnership, Fuller disregards unfair distribution caused by discrimination. In her book, Fuller added that men are considered more when it comes to job positions, education, and employment (Sklar 128). In this note, women should be acquiring similar opportunities at workplaces and the same quality and level of education. Fuller claims that when women are given equal opportunities, society becomes a better place due to prosperity.
According to Fuller, women should not be denied permission to do her job if she does not have the capacity, nor should she dominated or confined by the male character (Sklar 131). Fuller meant that it is unfair for a woman that is well educated to gain a lower job position than man. Fuller believes that women go through hard moments to get an education and receive a similar reward in employment to compensate for their high qualifications and hard work.
The final argument Fullers talks about is the role of women and equal participation in decision-making. According to Fuller, women during her time were known to professional and smart. Women must make their life choices and decision which relate to education, occupation, and marriage (Freier 268). Equal contribution goals can only be achieved when women’s decisions are also considered in balancing and supporting society’s strength.
Based on Fuller’s contentions, the participation of women’s equal rights choices was not just a demand but a necessity that their interest must be taken into consideration. According to Fuller, without women’s incorporation and perspective on life goals and decision making, equality cannot be achieved (Freier 275). Also, Fuller adds that improvement and empowerment of women’s social, political, and economic status are essential for the achievement of accountability and transport to sustain life development.
Fuller argues that a woman is immortal people while reflecting on transcendentalists such as Thoreau and Emerson on how they revealed that they struggled to attain immortality (Slabaugh 35). Women also live everything to fate when they see that men are incapable of seeing their light. However, Fuller believes that bad people are men and not the society due to the enslavement and imperfection nature of men.
Like Thoreau and Emerson, Fuller uses literature and her foreign gods to show how transcendentalists are spiritual in that they permeate women. With such gods, Fuller reflects on her description concerning ‘a woman’s heart and a man’s mind’ (Slabaugh 55). She argues that women’s emotions are generally coupled with their intellect. A suitable example is her father taught her and her it distinguished her from other women. The situation is considered unique because it fosters a strong sense of self-importance and the capabilities of a woman in society. Her debate was about the strong character she attained and how it never worked well with other people, especially if men are involved.
Fuller’s arguments are based on feminists’ thoughts. She mostly touches on the equality in marriage between the wife and husband, women’s, position in society, and how women are considered immortal beings. Fuller argues women should be involved in decision-making, which is why men are mentioned to be the heirs of the earth. Fuller’s arguments help shape women’s rights by elaborating more on why women’s voices should also be heard.
Fuller also used Like Thoreau and Emerson’s debate to show how transcendentalists are spiritual that they permeate women. In other words, Fuller believes that bad people are men and not the society due to the enslavement and imperfection nature of men. Fuller’s debate is considered to be unique because it fosters her keen sense of self-importance and the capabilities of a woman in society. The interchanging role of a woman and a man are the main discussions in Fullers’ argument. The reason behind this is that both women and men are part of nature that has similar interchangeable life.
Freier, Nathar. “Emerson's scene before the women: Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli and "Woman"." Feminist Conversations, 2018, pp. 238-268.
Priel, Dan. "Reconstructing Fuller’s argument against legal positivism." Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, vol. 26, no. 2, 2013, pp. 399-452.
Sklar, Kathryn K. "Pastoral Letter: The General Association of Massachusetts to churches under their care: July 1837." Women’s Rights Emerges within the Antislavery Movement, 1830–1870, 2000, pp. 119-133.
Slabaugh, Elizabeth. "The Transcendentalist’s Mind and Body: The Role of Illness in Margaret Fuller’s Writing." vol. 1, Apr. 2012, pp. 28-98.
Steele, J. "Pilgrimage and epiphany: The psychological and political dynamics of Margaret Fuller’s Mythmaking." The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age, 2017, pp. 193-219, doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429641.003.0008.
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