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The Last Man, Edited by Steven E. Jones

As Anne K. Mellor points out (introduction, p. xvi), this scene echoes a similar moment in Frankenstein. Thus, Mellor argues, "By quoting from Frankenstein her portraits of Father De Lacey and Agatha in the blind old man and his music-playing daughter, Shelley deliberately undercuts the ideology of the loving, egalitarian family that sustained her earlier novel. Implicit in Frankenstein was a belief in the primacy of domestic affections and in the restorative power of a maternal, 'beautiful' nature. But in The Last Man, all pastoral idylls--whether set among the woods of Windsor or on the shores of Lake Como--are abruptly shattered by the advent of the plague."


Published @ RC

October 1997