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Feminisim in Frankenstein

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Introduction

Mary Shelley's life influences on her novel Frankenstein If most people were to think of Frankenstein they would say it is a story about a male scientist's creation of a monster. However, if we look at Mary Shelley's life we can see that there is a great amount of focus on feminism in the novel through the role of women or lack thereof and the importance of a mother for a child. We can interpret the novel as a Feminist work and the result of the absence of a mother figure through a child's birth and development Childbirth without women Shelley came up with the idea of telling a ghost story with creation and galvanism because of a dream that evoked fear and anxiety in her. Mary Shelley had given birth to a baby girl eighteen months earlier whose death two weeks later caused a recurring dream. I quote "Dream that my little baby came to life again; that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it before the fire, and it lived. Awake and find no baby. Once again she was dreaming of reanimating a corpse by warming it with a "spark of life." ...read more.

Middle

Shelley attempts to convey the importance of a motherly figure and her nurturing in the development of a child. In Frankenstein, Shelly directly emphasizes that lacking a mother causes coping problems within oneself. Knowing about Shelley's life, we focus more on the absence of a mother as a cause for the monster's immoral doings. The cause of the monster's reason of destruction ultimately started with Victor rejection of his creation for the ugliness of its appearance. "I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room" Victor did not have it in his capacity to be a mother; he was simply a creator and played his role effectively. The job of a creator is to create, whereas the job of a mother is to mother. A mother would love their child unconditionally despite their appearance and the monster was born unfortunately with an appearance that only a true mother could really love. Had the monster been born with a mother, it would have known love and not just have seen it from spying on the De Laceys. ...read more.

Conclusion

Victor describes as he contemplates the creation of a female monster "I sat one evening in my laboratory; the sun had set, and the moon was just rising from the sea" The moon and sea are often images relating to women. "I was alike ignorant; she might become ten thousand times more malignant than her mate and delight, for its own sake, in murder and wretchedness; and she, who in all probability was to become a thinking and reasoning animal, might refuse to comply with a compact made before her creation" This passage is a very feminist passage and sounded like Mary Shelley ranting about the inequality of women's rights at that time. The lack of women can also be seen as a source of disorder and misery, as the Creature desired nothing else but to have a female counterpart and took away Frankenstein's loved ones in order to pressure him for another creation. Shelly makes her female characters so passive and subjects them to such ill treatment in order to call attention to the obsessive and destructive behavior that Victor and the monster exhibit. By learning about Mary Shelley's life we can see the book being focused from a different perspective, a feminist perspective through the absence of a mother, and the roles of the minor female characters. ...read more.

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