Mary Shelley - Research Paper Example

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Role of Feminism in Mary Shelley's life and Frankenstein Mary Shelley was the daughter of the two revolutionists William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Having as illustrative personalities as her parents meant that she was also quite an open minded and intelligent person with the ability to make up her own mind about the rightness or wrongness of the norms of the society…
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Mary Shelley
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Download file to see previous pages She was quite the advocate for the rights of women and even published a few works on the issue. One of her most famous works is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman that came out in the year 1972 in which she writes about “the rights and status of women against the claims of society and law” (Elroy). She touches the debate over whether women were truly as unintelligent as the society stated that they were. She argues that females were, in fact, as clever as the males and not “weak and artificial and not capable of reasoning effectively” (Burke). The only reason why they were thought of to be less informed than the other sex was because they had not had the benefit of an education. The men were sent off to universities whereas the young girls stayed behind at their homes being taught the art of how to act in the society. She insists that both the genders should be treated equally and not be thought less of by the other. She claims that education for the women was important as they were the ones who gave birth to and looked after the children. The same children who were the future of the society and would be responsible for what path it would take. If the women were educated, they would inculcate the right qualities in their children which, in turn, would be beneficial for the society. Even though Shelley’s mother died just a few days after the girl was born, she did have an influence on the child from her grave proving the saying of books being eternal correct. William Godwin himself was quite a radical philosopher who believed that both the sexes should be treated equally and supported his wife’s ideas. He encouraged Shelley to read a lot and she made sure to go through every of her mother’s books published or otherwise as well as her other notes and letters. Reading these gave her an insight into her mother’s mind and beliefs. She thought more about the world around her and how the women were treated by the society. She grew up to be a feminist and did not bothering following what the society thought was right. Her mindset and belief shows through her few works including Frankenstein. The fact that Shelley wrote a book like Frankenstein with all its horrors in itself was telling. When the book was first published under a pseudonym, it received quite mixed reviews but was popular enough for the second edition to be released. However, when it came out with Shelley’s name on the cover, people thought they were being cheated. In those times, the close minded society did not appreciate women penning books and a scary one at that. Also, the book was so well written that some people found it hard to believe on who exactly the real author was. They thought that it was actually written by the woman’s husband but she had just gotten her name on the cover. Again, this sentiment shows how it was easier for them to believe in a man having the brains to write such a material, the same task which seemed impossible for a woman. Even though the term feminism did not come until 1894, the whole concept behind it does fall suitably over Shelley’s believes (Zohrab 5). However, one can only take into account the broad definition of the term as it varies depending on one’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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