Critic Essay of Marilyn Francuss The Monstrous Mother:

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Marilyn Francus wrote an essay entitle “The Monstrous Mother: Reproductive Anxiety in Swift and Pope” where she establishes a connection between Swift and Pope’s disgust of literary mass production and their misogynist texts. The monstrous mother is the female with inappropriate sexual behavior, the one who procreates for her own benefit; she has the power to manipulate the body and the mind of her products while they are still in her womb, turning these products in her allies, because she has the power to create the product as she wants. This monstrous mother symbolizes lust, because she always wants sex and this becomes the mean from where she gets strength, while on the other hand this constant reproduction will make men weaker, because they loose power every time they ejaculate. Western culture has turned the fecund mother as a monster since Homer’s texts with the creation of Scylla, and Christian tradition have made women the cause of many tragedies since the Fall from Grace. So, the monstrous mother has been created as an allegory which acquired theological and literary significance. Parallel readings of monstrous maternity have reinforce this idea so much that in some texts, when is necessary to blame someone for something that has failed because some dark desire, a woman is used as a vehicle of men’s failure. Francus gives as example Errour in Spenser’s The Faerie Queen, Sin in Milton’s Paradise Lost, Criticism in Swift’s Battle of the Books, and Dulness in Pope’s Dunciad, where female reproductive power gives them authority over male. Francus’ point of view is that this causes a patriarchal fear of the female power and the response for this is the demonization of the female reproduction. The problem about female reproduction is that since the mother has the power to choose what kind of product she is going to deliver to the world, as she produces more
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