Address on Woman’s Rights


Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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According to the creation stories of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, Adam and Eve were the first man and woman to walk the earth. According to the myth, God created Adam, then from Adam’s rib created Eve to be his companion. Adam and Eve were instructed not to eat from a tree in the Garden of Eden that bore fruit containing the knowledge of good and evil—but Satan, disguised as a serpent, tempted Eve into eating of the apple, and Eve then shared the apple with Adam. Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden, creating the doctrine of “original sin,” or the “fall of man.” Throughout history, the story of Eve’s temptation has been weaponized against women. In her 1848 “Address on Woman’s Rights,” Elizabeth Cady Stanton attempts to invert the demonization of Eve by suggesting that it was Eve who craved knowledge—and was thus motivated by intellect—while Adam irrationally and emotionally craved only Eve’s approval and attention.

Adam and Eve Quotes in Address on Woman’s Rights

The Address on Woman’s Rights quotes below are all either spoken by Adam and Eve or refer to Adam and Eve. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Equality of the Sexes Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Northeastern University Press edition of Address on Woman’s Rights published in 1992.
Address on Woman’s Rights Quotes

[Satan] thought that [Adam] could be easily conquered through his affection for [Eve]. But the woman […] could be reached only through her intellectual nature. So he promised her the knowledge of good and evil. He told her the sphere of her reason should be enlarged […] so he prevailed and she did eat. […] Eve took an apple went to Adam and said "Dear Adam […] if you love me eat." Adam stopped not so much as to ask if the apple was sweet or sour. […] His love for Eve prevailed and he did eat. Which I ask you was the "creature of the affections"?

Related Characters: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (speaker), Adam and Eve
Page Number: 54-55
Explanation and Analysis:
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Adam and Eve Character Timeline in Address on Woman’s Rights

The timeline below shows where the character Adam and Eve appears in Address on Woman’s Rights. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Address on Woman’s Rights
Equality of the Sexes Theme Icon
Christianity and Women’s Worth Theme Icon
Society, in Stanton’s estimation, has hardly progressed at all since Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. There, the two had everything they needed—but “The Evil... (full context)
Equality of the Sexes Theme Icon
Christianity and Women’s Worth Theme Icon that these women have not read the Bible correctly. God, after all, didn’t tell Adam and Eve anything about being obedient to one another—throughout the Bible, God addresses men and women as... (full context)