Mary Shelley and Gender Equality

Fortunately, nowadays we are becoming more and more aware of the gender inequality that has existed for so long in our society and in the world. Ours is a time in which this is no longer tolerable. We all must understand how important it is that men and women must live together in equal terms, with the same rights and with no fears, knowing that we all have something to contribute to make our society a place where we all can feel fulfilled.

In this search for equality, it is becoming necessary to defend the role of women in the development of our world in any field, (art, science, technology, law, politics, …) and what they have contributed to the history of mankind. 

In this context, the name of Mary Shelley came into my mind and I thought it was a good idea to let our students know who she was. 

We all know the existence of a book called Frankenstein, but many don’t know that it was written by a twenty-one-year-old called Mary Shelley. It was published 200 years ago, in 1818, with the help of his husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Theirs was one of the most prototypical romantic relationships.

She was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, a feminist philosopher and writer, and William Godwin, a journalist, novelist and philosopher. Obviously, she grew up in a cultivated atmosphere that helped make her a very intellectual woman. 

The monster that she created has nothing to do with the figure that films and tv series have transmitted. It was cultivated, sensitive, able to express his emotions and feelings, willing to help others, vegetarian, keen on reading, (He enjoys reading Paradise Lost by Milton and The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe), … However, and because of his physical appearance, he was continuously rejected, and he turned into an embittered, vengeful, solitary being.

Let me suggest the reading of this great masterpiece of English literature to all those interested in improving their English. I can assure you that you will enjoy it and value the figure of its creator, Mary Shelley, a woman whose sensitivity and creativity produced one of the most easily recognisable literary characters.