Compare and Contrast the Romantics: William Blake and Mary Wollstonecraft

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Compare and Contrast The Romantics: William Blake and Mary Wolstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman sets out to invalidate the social and religious standards of her time in regards to gender, just as William Blake sets out to do the same for children. Both Blake and Wollstonecraft can be read by the average man and woman, lending its attention toward both upper and middle class. Wollstonecraft’s revolutionary themes of tyranny and oppression of women parallel the themes in Blake’s poetry of the tyranny and oppression of children; hence, leading the reader to the Romantic notion of empathy.
Wollstonecraft’s use of nonfiction prose for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman sets her apart from the
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my soul is white/ White as an angel is the English child:/ But I am black as if bereav’d of light” (2-4). In the end, he again addresses “the white boy” eliciting empathy from the reader by stating, “When I from black and he from white cloud free,/ And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:/ I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bear/
To lean in joy upon our fathers knee” (23-26). Wollstonecraft stresses empathy for women just as Blake stresses empathy for children, and slaves; hence, a deliberate element of Romanticism.
Although her literary form is not the “conventional” form used in Romanticism,
Wollstonecraft exemplifies the key thematic elements of the literary movement. As compared to
Blake, Wollstonecraft uses the same themes as tyranny and oppression in Vindication as Blake uses in “Holy Thursday” and “The Little Black Boy.” She also uses plain, common and direct diction as can be seen with Blake’s poetry throughout. Empathy is used by both Wollstonecraft and Blake to