Custom

In Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus, there is a section under the chapter Natural Supernaturalism that tackles the topic of custom. Carlyle says, “…Custom has hoodwinked us…we do everything by custom, even Believe by it; that our very Axioms, let us boast of Free-thinking as we may, are oftenest simply such Beliefs as we have never questioned” (11). Although Carlyle goes on to talk about how people may think miracles become less miraculous by way of custom and repetition, this quote got me to think more deeply about our own customs in society.

At the time the work by Margaret Fuller and Mary Wollstonecraft was being read and discussed, women did not have the right to vote. In the excerpt from from Rights of Women by Wollstonecraft, she says, “Women have been allowed to remain in ignorance and slavish dependence many, very many years…”(10). To me, this slavish dependence she mentions is similar to the custom brought up by Carlyle in that people are set in their ways and don’t always question whats been done for many years. Fuller and Wollstonecraft are seemingly calling from a break from this custom, this treatment of women, for people to see that women should have a say in how they are governed, especially if they have to abide by the laws in place.

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