Originally I planned to post this draft last Friday, for last week’s writing prompt. Let’s just say… some things happened that don’t usually happen and I was unable to do so, and I had to unexpectedly take a week off. I am happy to announce, however, that there will be some important additions and enhancements coming to the blog soon, which will significantly enhance its value, quality, and focus. So keep an eye out.
Now, as far as the draft below is concerned, it is indeed rough. Very rough. I could spend months on this draft and still feel as if it needed more work. But the point of completing Daily Drafts & Dialogues writing prompts every week is to keep myself writing every week, every day and allows me to take a break from my other writing work and keep my creative juices flowing.
The brief dialogue below is an imagined one. If Mary Wollstonecraft would have survived to see her baby girl, Mary grow into a young woman, this is a dialogue I could imagine them having together. It hypothetically takes place the morning after young Mary meets Percy Bysshe Shelley after her father, William Godwin, invites him over for dinner the previous evening. Mary and her mother are sitting down to discuss the happenings of what would become known as the War of 1812, in the year 1814, which was the year in which young Mary actually met Shelley. The younger Mary would have been around sixteen. Mary Wollstonecraft would have been around fifty-three.
In the imagined dialogue below, I am assuming young Mary Godwin would have been more cautious of Shelley’s more passionate nature had she already had the attention and affection of her mother, as she was always wanting the affection of her own more reserved and somewhat emotionally bland father. I also assume she would have had a slightly louder and stronger voice, given the example set by her mother. And that she would have been more prone to revolutionary actions and ideals, given her young age. I also see Mary Wollstonecraft as less restless in her older age, having built the family and security she always yearned for, but still adamant about her philosophical proclivities.
Please forgive any lapses in colloquial English appropriate for this time period.
MW= Mary Wollstonecraft (Mother)
MG= Mary Godwin (Daughter)
MG: Mama, the American cause has always been aligned with our cause for natural rights here at home. Surely you can admit that. Alas, I must also admit I am unsure of the nature of things there entirely.
MW: Indeed. And I have seen and experienced the horrors of wars, not so civil, and revolution first hand. And have lost many souls dear to me when I needed them most, particularly their ideals and zeal. We must insist on the advancement, intellectually and economically, of women and men by educating them with our pen and words and not by using our mistempered swords, ensuring it starts in the home with our young. Like you. We have already seen enough bloodshed to fill the Thames in our combined lifetimes.
MG: I wonder still, what are the chances of our cause succeeding without action, largely considering the physical nature of commerce and trade and human bodies.
MW: Oh, my girl, the cause will still have nary a chance of succeeding if minds and hearts, including yours, are not as equally swayed as those hands that are wielding weapons and insisting on brute force. We must continue to focus our efforts on instruction and education. Writing is also a formidable action, is it not?
MG: I know that Mister Shelley would agree. I, however, am still warming to the notion, to hold it in earnest.
MW: And are you warming to the notion of Mister Shelley, the man, as well? You seemed entranced by him, I noticed.
MG: He is a hypnotizing force to be acknowledged, that is true. A force that will leave me blown in disarray, I fear. And he made me mostly mute, I begrudgingly admit. But whether that muteness was his doing or mine, I am still unsure. I also learned he may have a wife.
MW: He may. He seems likely discontented with the arrangement if that is the case.
MG: There is more to it. I surmise he is more hypnotized by Papa than me. They spoke at length and covered every topic under the sun.
MW: Perhaps. He did read your father’s writings first and seems emboldened by the imaginings of the mind mostly. Yet there does seem some other force he abides. And I did witness him studying you each time you spoke. And often when you were not speaking at all.
MG: It is true. His noticing made me notice all the more. But I want him enthralled with my written imaginings and form as well, not my corporeal form alone, and am still puzzling that out.
MW: There is no substantial reason why he cannot be enthralled by them both.
MG: Mama! My cheeks blush now. And you know as well as I, my writing is still coming into its own and will take longer to produce as it must carry its weight in this household, next to yours and Papa’s.
MW: Which means there is more to it, my darling, and nothing more at all. As I always insist, you know your own mind and sensibility better than I or anyone, and that is to what you must adhere. In all facets of life. Writing is a way to bring it forward.
MG: Well then, off I go to focus on my writing, my inner imaginings. I agree, it will lead me to understand my own mind and sensibility much better and perhaps shine a light on a few other things, as well.
MW: As will I. I’m eager to review it.
Overall, I see Mary Wollstonecraft as a loving mother who instills the value of autonomy and a strong sense of self-worth in her children, especially her daughters. I see her as continuing to live out her philosophy, and that philosophy continuing on with her children.
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