Minerva and the Muse- Margaret Fuller

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Hayley Eckhardt English 355 October 5, 2012 Trials of Feminism: Representations of Margaret Fuller Margaret Fuller has only recently become a popular subject for biographical research, as it was not until long after her death that her works were published in their complete form. Editors of her letters were very disrespectful of the material, and heavily censored or altered it before publishing. Furthermore, fellow contemporaries Hawthorne, Emerson, and Alcott wrote a fictitious account of her that belittled and often ignored her virtues in place of her flaws. Due to her misrepresentation in literary circles, it is wise to look at biographical representations of the visionary feminist with a…show more content…
In order to prove that von Mehren provides an unbiased representation of Fuller that represents her flaws as well as her virtues, a look at the author’s report of Fuller’s adolescent years is required. When Fuller was twelve years old, she “[showed] signs of adolescent willfulness and tactlessness” which alienated her contemporaries and earned her few friends. When she had to transfer to school that would allow her to work at a slower pace (she had troubles due to poor eyesight), she was given permission to throw a party in order to “cement her school friendships”. She set the date for January 15th, 1823 and sent ninety invitations in anticipation of a wonderful ball. However, on January 12th, only “had a handful of acceptances”, resulting in a dismal and lonely party. One of the reasons for the low turnout was a bout of bad weather- however, the primary cause of the party’s failure was Margaret’s arrogant and rude behavior by “playing up to her Boston schoolmates to the indignation of the little world of Cambridge”, her blatant favoritism making her a social pariah (von Mehren 20). This unflinching report of Fuller’s time as an inconsiderate, unpleasant girl and the consequences of her actions clearly depicts von Mehren’s incredible attention to detail and lack of noticeable

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