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Post by wangrong on Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:36 am

As Wollstonecraft scholar Virginia Sapiro points out in her description of Mary, the novel anticipates many of the themes that would come to dominate Wollstonecraft's later writings, such as her concern with the "slavery of marriage" and the absence of any respectable occupations for women.[15] From the beginning of her career, Wollstonecraft was concerned with how sensibility affected women as well as the perception of women in society. All of her works address these topics from one vantage point or another. Connected to this is her analysis of the legitimate and illegitimate foundations for relationships between men and women. Wollstonecraft's oeuvre is filled with continual reassessments of the definition of femininity and masculinity and the role that sensibility should fill in those definitions. In order to explore these ideas, Wollstonecraft continually turns to herself as an example (all of her works are highly autobiographical, particularly her two novels and the Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796)). As one of Wollstonecraft's first attempts to explore these questions, Mary is at times awkward and it occasionally falls short of what Gary Kelly calls the "Revolutionary feminism" of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) and Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798).[16]

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