Home » Beloved sufferers and mad girls: Idealized femininity and exemplary suffering in the fiction of Mary Shelley. by Emily Marie Tuttle
Beloved sufferers and mad girls: Idealized femininity and exemplary suffering in the fiction of Mary Shelley. Emily Marie Tuttle

Beloved sufferers and mad girls: Idealized femininity and exemplary suffering in the fiction of Mary Shelley.

Emily Marie Tuttle

Published
ISBN : 9780549605171
NOOKstudy eTextbook
95 pages
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 About the Book 

Because of the popularity of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley is often seen as a one-book author, but the themes which she pursues in her earliest novel are also present in much of her later fiction. Scholars often focus on Shelleys critique of theMoreBecause of the popularity of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley is often seen as a one-book author, but the themes which she pursues in her earliest novel are also present in much of her later fiction. Scholars often focus on Shelleys critique of the predominant gender ideology in her individual novels, but by selecting representative novels from the subgenres in which Shelley writes, a cross-genre connection can be seen in Shelleys paradigm of exemplary suffering. Beginning in Frankenstein and following in The Last Man, Valperga, and Lodore, Shelley uses her fiction to critique patriarchys separate spheres ideology which confines women to the private domain and, as such, idealizes them to the point where they are unable to experience certain negative emotions, such as anxiety and grief, without suffering bodily consequences. Not only does this construct confine women who are supposedly perfect, but it damages those who cannot live up to this ideal. While Shelley experiments with this paradigm in these novels, in that she places her female characters in different positions relative to this trope, she continually comes to the conclusion that regardless of its incarnation, idealized femininity and exemplary suffering are inherently damaging to womens minds and bodies.