Address on Woman’s Rights

by

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Address on Woman’s Rights can help.

Sunlight Symbol Analysis

Sunlight Symbol Icon

Throughout Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 1848 “Address on Woman’s Rights,” sun and sunlight symbolize the dawn of a new era of history, in which women are given equal rights in global society. Several times throughout the speech, Stanton speaks of women’s present obscurity in society. They are relegated to dark, cramped homes and prevented from being intellectually illuminated through education. They’re not permitted to participate in public life or to vote. Women are languishing in a “half-developed” form, according to Stanton—but they long to stand under the “full blaze of the sun.” Stanton refers literally to women’s desire to stand in the sun—to freely leave their homes and the other interior spaces to which they’ve been confined—and metaphorically to their desire to stand in the “light” of knowledge and power. The women’s movement, Stanton predicts, will bring a new “dawn” of openness and equality—and that dawn will give way to a bright and “flashing sunlight” that will nourish global society and allow it to grow into something better.

Sunlight Quotes in Address on Woman’s Rights

The Address on Woman’s Rights quotes below all refer to the symbol of Sunlight. 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

Suffice it to say for the present, that wherever we turn the history of woman is sad and drear and dark, without any alleviating circumstances, nothing from which we can draw consolation. As the nations of the earth emerge from a state of barbarism, the sphere of woman gradually becomes wider but not even under what is thought to be the full blaze of the sun of civilization is it what God designed it to be.

Related Characters: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (speaker)
Related Symbols: Sunlight
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

A new era is dawn<ing upon the world, […] when the millions now under the iron heel of the tyrant will assert their manhood, when woman yielding to the voice of the spirit within her will demand the recognition of her humanity, when her soul, grown too large for her chains, will burst the bands around her set and stand redeemed….

The slumber is broken and the sleeper has risen.

Related Characters: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (speaker)
Related Symbols: Sunlight
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Address on Woman’s Rights LitChart as a printable PDF.
Address on Woman’s Rights PDF

Sunlight Symbol Timeline in Address on Woman’s Rights

The timeline below shows where the symbol Sunlight 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
Women, Public Life, and American Prosperity Theme Icon
...be “sad and drear and dark.” Women don’t live under the “full blaze of the sun,” as men do—all around the world, women are regarded as inferior to their male counterparts. (full context)
Equality of the Sexes Theme Icon
Women, Public Life, and American Prosperity Theme Icon
Women’s Rights Around the World Theme Icon
A new era is about to dawn. The old guard must yield, and the tyrants must surrender. Women cannot be held captive... (full context)
Equality of the Sexes Theme Icon
Women, Public Life, and American Prosperity Theme Icon
Christianity and Women’s Worth Theme Icon
Women’s Rights Around the World Theme Icon
The new “flashing sunlight” of the women’s movement will make dark the old world dominated by men. Women will... (full context)