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"Considering the social ideals of time, discuss the social restraints of the female characters compared with the freedoms of the male".

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Introduction

"Considering the social ideals of time, discuss the social restraints of the female characters compared with the freedoms of the male" In the eighteenth century, when Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' was written, there were many social restraints placed upon women, but where men were still relatively free. An example of this is from up until a few decades ago where the men were expected to go out and work while the women were to stay at home, doing the cooking and housework. In this essay, I am going to attempt to find out if Mary Shelley has demonstrated these social restraints in the book 'Frankenstein', and to discuss these restraints and their effects upon the characters. During the time when 'Frankenstein' was written, the women were considered much less important than the men. This is also displayed in the book where when Justine was to be hanged. Elizabeth tried to save Justine Moritz although failed to save her and she was then hanged. Victor Frankenstein, however, knew that he could save Justine if he wanted to, but didn't want to for fear of being prosecuted himself, as he would have to reveal that he let a monster, his own creation, into the world. ...read more.

Middle

does. A good example of this in 'Frankenstein' is where Victor reads a book and his father replies to what he is reading: "Ah, Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash." Normally, a woman would be expected to stop reading this, but a man would have the decision to carry on reading, or to stop. In this case Victor acknowledged his father although continued to read: "And I continued to read with greatest avidity" Thus showing that the men can decide what they want but if this was changed around then Victor's father would tell Elizabeth to stop reading the book, not just ask, showing the men to have more freedom than the women. A second point showing that the men have more freedom than the women is that in 'Frankenstein', Victor is asked if he wants to go to study at a university in Ingolstadt to fulfil his "thirst for knowledge" whereas Elizabeth is asked nothing of the kind and is left to busy herself with the home left behind by Victor, after Caroline's death from Scarlet Fever. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could show that the women may be harder to kill, although it is probably that the monster had more feelings for the opposite sex, despite the males being stronger. In conclusion, it is quite obvious that there were strong constraints upon the women, that is, that they were weaker, bringing around the restraints like the men should be the ones to earn the money, while the women are the ones to stay at home with the house, also other factors like the men have freedom, not so much the women. With further people taking this more seriously, the men become the ones who later feel it is their job to protect the women and the like. It is clear that these ideas were shown in the book 'Frankenstein', most probably to help her make the book seem more realistic. The characters split into two groups: males and females, act as nearly complete opposites and like how I first mentioned in the introduction, i.e. the men go out to work while the women stay at home. Probably the best comparison of these is Victor and Elizabeth, the two main characters of their sex in the book, who display all that I have said in this essay, almost in a copied manner. Jason Dealey English Coursework-Frankenstein Miss Kitson 10N W28 Page 1 ...read more.

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