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Wollstonecraft And Shelley Essay

  • Submitted by: dreamerbee
  • on March 24, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,506 words

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Below is an essay on "Wollstonecraft And Shelley" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelly: Like Mother Like Daughter

In Mary Shelley's famous novel, Frankenstein, the monster implores the distraught Dr. Frankenstein to create for him a female companion.   The nameless monster describes what he wants in a mate, "You must create a female for me, with whom I can love in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being . . . and my virtues will necessarily arise when I live in communion with an equal" (Shelley, 1987). The monster's words could have been taken from Shelley's mother's own writing. Mary Wollstonecraft's ideas on relationships are summed up in the words of her husband, William Godwin, ""She set a great value on a mutual affection between persons of opposite sex, and regarded it as the principal solace of human life'" (Brailsford). In Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft appeals to her contemporaries’ passions for domestic life, expanding on the benefits for men of having a wife who is an intellectual equal.

Wollstonecraft also examines the benefits for children reared in a home with an educated mother. Though Wollstonecraft died in childbirth, and missed the opportunity to educate her own daughters directly, Mary, her namesake, grew up with her like-minded father and surrounded by her mother’s adoring friends. Those friends shared her mother’s revolutionary ideas, and Mary read her mother’s books and essays as a young woman (Wells, 2009). It is reasonable that the talented daughter’s writing would, in some ways, reflect her mother’s. Shelley wrote in a letter to Frances Wright in 1827, “ʻThe memory of my Mother has been always the pride & delight of my life; & the admiration of others for her, has been the cause of most of the happiness < ... > I have enjoyed   (LMWS 2: 3-4).” Shelley knew her mother’s words through her writing. “In turn, through writing, Shelley can symbolically speak to her mother and demonstrate that she has not degenerated from Wollstonecraft's example” (Buss,...

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