John Collier Analysis

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Wollstonecraft died giving birth. Mary Wollstonecraft’s doctor was forced to remove some of the placenta manually but with unwashed hands, Mary developed an infection. She died a week later in an incredibly painful, but not uncommon way (Sturgis). Not only was it likely that children should die but the risk of having children was high to begin with. To the readers who have more than likely experienced an infant death to read of Collier’s advice for killing off “unwanted” children it would be a harsh reality check. In seeking reform Collier may also be advocating closer care and watch of children. To those that have an experience with the death of a mother or friend during childbirth, they would question the frivolity in which women were “supposed” …show more content…
Collier discusses several options for tormenting one of which is to give difficult or impossible instructions and then reprimand the servant for not following them. The narrator points out the positives of getting purposely unruly pets like “cats, monkeys, parrots, squirrels, and little snarling lap-dogs” (Collier, 58). The hope is that these pets, and maybe even children, will torment and even potentially physically harm the servants. It is interesting to note here that the cover of Collier’s Essay has a picture of a cat, a pet known for playing with it’s prey for fun before devouring or even just killing and leaving it. In advocating for pets that can torment the servants, the narrator behaves very cat like in tormenting the servants seemingly without reason. In describing those torments, Collier mentions the abuse that the children’s caretakers may endure: Collier …show more content…
This power play between two distinct social classes seems to demonstrate some of the issues regarding social hierarchy of British Society. Collier’s writing hints to a society where from birth one is elevated above certain people and therefore entitled to not only boss them around but to torment them without repercussion. This anecdote of the abusive employer to the working class servant is a pointed jab at a flawed system where one group of people all but controls the

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