Mary Shelley’s anonymous publishing of her very powerful Frankenstein is a fine example of feminism found in society. Many have criticized her for allowing her husband, Percy Shelley, to edit her work. The society of her day has also received much negative criticism for not allowing her to publish her works with her name directly attached, by non-verbally agreeing they would not buy the works of a woman. For they believed that a woman’s work could not live up to the superiority of a man’s. Societal disapproval of women taking on roles outside of the home are surprisingly found also within her book. A person can easily see evidence of this, as Walton’s sister Margaret is addressed only in letters, with no mention of any accomplishments with the exception of staying home and “being there” for Walton. Elizabeth herself didn’t leave home to go on trips, not even when her “dearest Victor” was in the darkest of his troubles. It was not Elizabeth who went to comfort her fiance, she instead remained at home to care for the household affairs. This was no doubt a better place for her, as the society of the times demanded Mary Shelley to agree so that her literature would be sold.
Johanna Smith spoke directly of feminism in several cultures, highlighting on French, British, and American cultures. She spoke of language and politics as they related to feminism. Another woman who directly spoke of feminism was Simone de Beauvoir. Her works highly criticized the way society, particularly men, worked women to a ragged condition. In retrospect, Smith analyzed cultural feminism, while Beauvoir attacked societal feminism.
Bram Stoker craftily allows women to take charge, though at times he allows them to seem pitiful creatures in need of male protection and care. Through the word “journal” in reference to Mina’s writings, Stoker allows her to be equal with her male companions. She is also put on the level by being allowed to travel and be an active part of their discussions and works.
Language and Style in The Grapes of Wrath
In his novel, The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck creates a clear image of how life was for the migrants by describing the physical, mental, and emotional suffering they faced as they were forced to leave their homes. He was able to accomplish his intended goal by reaching out to the reader, pulling him into the shoes of the migrants, and forcing him experience life alongside of them as they travel down Route 66.
A clear example of the reader sharing the migrant experience is shown when the Joads must leave their home, “How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past? No. Leave it. Burn it.” (Page 120) This passage allows the reader to become one with the migrants and to sense their emotional suffering and loss. The reader can easily imagine themselves in the position of the migrants, losing everything they have, and it is the thought of this that touches the reader’s heart and arouses their compassion for the migrants. In addition, “The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And the children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And the coroners must fill in certificates—died of malnutrition—because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.” (Page 477) Chapter twenty-five, which describes an over abundance of food and people dying of starvation, is very effective in capturing the despair and misery of the families. It makes the reader angry that innocent children must die so that large corporations can make a profit and it alerts the reader to the inhumane treatment the migrants received. Furthermore, “They were hungry, and they were fierce. And they had hoped to find a home, and they found only hatred.” (Page 318) The people who traveled to California had been forced to leave their homes, their past, and their lives and travel to a land they had never seen, where they were treated with disgust and hated because they were poor. The coldness that was directed towards the migrants fills the reader’s heart with pity for them and turns their anger at the bank, large corporations, police, and all those who acted in inhumane ways towards the migrants. Steinbeck tears the reader’s heart to pieces with his imagery about how the migrants were treated and his descriptions about the obstacles that they had to face.