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Such as for instance an excellent sublimation of impurity replaces sexual origins that have moral ones one to translate effortlessly on personal norms

Such as for instance an excellent sublimation of impurity replaces sexual origins that have moral ones one to translate effortlessly on personal norms

Yet nothing try intimately knowledgeable; the initial two need the spotlessness into grave

The defilement of being born, inevitable outcome of sexual contact: here we encounter in its fullness an archaic symbolism that cannot be assimilated either to social norms or to the <349>assumptions of “liberal feminism.” The best a civilized order can do, as Shelley so visibly demonstrates, is exclude it, keep it at bay, repress all evidence of the sexual origin of impurity. To the extent that Frankenstein recapitulates the etiological drama of Paradise Lost, as Gilbert and Gubar suggest so persuasively, it does so to reveal the way Milton mitigates the paradox of impure birth. 17 Death in his epic has origins quite apart from those of life. Adam ents now soil’d and stain’d” [9.1076]; he may regret that all his future progeny “Is propagated curse” []. 18 But the cause of that impurity and curse is not sexual contact but moral infidelity. Milton sublimates the symbolism of defilement by situating it in a moral context that at least ostensibly antedates and explains it. The “spotless innocence” (4. 318) of Adam and Eve precedes their fall; as Milton takes pains to insist, so does their sexual intimacy. Jätka lugemist