ERIC Number: EJ870081
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Mary Shelley: Teaching and Learning through "Frankenstein"
Girard, Theresa M.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n2 2009
In the writing of "Frankenstein", Mary Shelley was able to change the course of women's learning, forever. Her life started from an elite standpoint as the child of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. As such, she was destined to grow to be a major influence in the world. Mary Shelley's formative years were spent with her father and his many learned friends. Her adult years were spent with her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their literary friends. It was on the occasion of the Shelleys' visit to Lord Byron at his summer home that Mary Shelley was to begin her novel which changed the course of women's ideas about safety and the home. No longer were women to view staying in the home as a means to staying safe and secure. While women always knew that men could be unreliable, Mary Shelley openly acknowledged that fact and provided a forum from which it could be discussed. Furthermore, women learned that they were vulnerable and that, in order to insure their own safety, they could not entirely depend upon men to rescue them; in fact, in some cases, women needed to save themselves from the men in their lives, often with no one to turn to except themselves and other women. There are many instances where this is shown throughout "Frankenstein", such as: Justine's prosecution and execution and Elizabeth's murder. Mary Shelley educated women in the most fundamental of ways and continues to do so through every reading of "Frankenstein". (Contains 53 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Authors, Females, Family Environment, Family Influence, Novels, Classics (Literature), Personal Autonomy, World Views, Attitude Change, Feminism, Womens Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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