Date of Award
Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)
Colby College. English Dept.
Mary Shelley and Charlotte Bronte serve as two strong examples of a domestic nationalism that circulated in Victorian Britain in opposition to the more mainstream imperialistic nationalism represented by pro-imperial tracts like Carlyle's "The Nigger Question" and Laetitia Hawkins and Hannah More's construction of feminine nationalism as acceptance of traditional feminine roles. Arguing for a both an anti-imperial mission based on their portraits of Frankenstein's creature and Bertha Mason as particular examples of the colonized and for a new definition of the "Proper Lady" which would include female education, passionate expression, and meaningful work for single women, Shelley and Bronte build their novels on a desire to deconstruct the angel/demon binary view of women and the colonized and to return to an England based on cultural and familial values instead of capitalistic, exploitative, dehumanizing colonialism.
Mary Shelley, Charlotte Bronte, domestic nationalism, feminism
Recommended CitationPrescott, Charles E., "" Waking to Empire": Reading the National Politics of Mary Shelley and Charlotte Bronte" (1995). Senior Scholar Papers. Paper 482.
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