Autobiographical Elements in Behn's Oroonoko, Shelley's Frankenstein and Woolf's Orlando
In order to understand and analyze the Western literary canon, one needs to comprehend the importance of the life writing as a genre and as a concept. Life writing developed within different aspects of literary methods and ideas. But in the contemporary literary understanding, biography is classified as a diverse genre that is combined with various elements in it. In this article, it is my intention to analyze the autobiographical elements in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928) while considering the sociocultural backgrounds of each period in Britain and their writers as a woman and their contributions to the British literary canon. these three significant women writers have become pioneers throughout three centuries in the British literary canon. They used autobiographical elements in their works: Behn’s Oroonoko, Shelley’s Frankenstein and Woolf’s Orlando while struggling to survive in a patriarchal society and they tried to raise their own unique voices as authors. Aphra Behn becomes the first professional woman writer, Mary Shelley is considered to be the foremother of science fiction and gothic genre, finally pioneer feminist writer Virginia Woolf created a fictional, gender-bending biography that paid tribute to the British literary canon beginning with Renaissance till the twentieth century. All in all, they still have effect on us for being courageous as a woman and using our intellect in order to become successful in a patriarchal society of the twenty-first century.
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