Miles Franklin and ‘The Survivors’
The manuscript of Stella Miles Franklin's play 'The Survivors' is marked 'Shawondasee, August, 1908'. Shawondasee is in the small, historic seaside town of Stonington, Connecticut, visited by Franklin with her friend Mary E. Dreier, President of the New York Women's Trade Union League and sister ofFranklin's employer, NWTUL President Margaret Dreier Robins. Working in Chicago during this period, Franklin was on holiday and had been staying with suffragist Jessie H. Childs in New York (Roe, Biography 129). The play addresses two issues important to Franklin during her Chicago years (1906-1915): the role of art in personal and social change, and the critique of inequities between rich and poor, especially the moral justification of the Spencerian notion of the survival of the fittest as justification for inequality.
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