The final chapter summarizes how Shelley’s upbringing influenced his outlook in life in his adulthood. The chapter recounts the social system in place for rearing and training children in the 18th century which, despite its strictures and imperfections, seemed to have succeeded in its purpose of enforcing and propagating a male-dominated society. The chapter then theorizes on the possible instances of deviations in Shelley’s case—notably his complex relationship with his mother and his experience of maternal nurturing—to account for his failure to conform to the system. Shelley’s desire to reform society through his work stemmed from his rebellion against the deeply embedded patriarchal authority in his country. With “Prometheus Unbound,” Shelley dared to create a utopian paradigm for society. In the end, he circled back to the concept of maternal nurture, the “goddess of relationship,” for the healing balm to renew his flawed society.
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