Born in 1759, in London, Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer and activist for educational and social equality for women. After surviving an unhappy childhood with an alcoholic and violent father, Mary Wollstonecraft spent time as a lady’s companion, a schoolmistress, and a governess. Later, her life took a dramatic turn. In 1794, when she was in France, she had an affair with Gilbert Imlay, an American Captain, and attempted suicide when their relationship failed. She then had an affair with British author William Godwin. The two married after she became pregnant. Sadly, she died shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Mary Shelley.

Mary Wollstonecraft’s influence on her daughter’s work in certainly one of the most important. Throughout her childhood, Mary Shelley read many books, mostly her father’s. She also read her mother’s most famous work, A Vindication of the Right of Women, which argues the concept of giving equal rights and education to both men and women. Many of her mother’s ideas can be seen in Frankenstein. The DeLacey family promotes Wollstonecraft’s opinion on sexual equality, justice, and mutual affection. Furthermore, Elizabeth reflects the idea of female passivity and submissiveness. Lastly, Safie is the incarnation of Mary Wollstonecraft, as she rebels against conformity while suggesting altruistic values.

Christophe Caron

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4 thoughts on “Mary Wollstonecraft and her Influence on Frankenstein

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