Though Frankenstein was written by the daughter of a feminist, the women in the novel seem less important than the men.

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Though Frankenstein was written by the daughter of a feminist, the women in the novel seem less important than the men. How far do you agree that Shelley does indeed present male characters as being more interesting and more central to the main ideas of the novel?

Strangely, even though Mary Shelley came from a feministic background, the women in Frankenstein take a very backseat role as the story follows that of the men, with women only portrayed subjectively from Frankenstein or the monster, who are both male. Even though the character of Elizabeth is arguably the third most important character in the novel, it never takes her first person view of events.

Firstly, Frankenstein is undisputedly the main character in Frankenstein, and for the majority of the novel it is Frankenstein’s recalling of events, through Walton, “Strange and harrowing must be his story”, as Walton hears his ‘monstrous’ tale. The story revolves around Victor Frankenstein in first person, which allows the reader to relate to him with more ease. With Shelley’s decision of first person, it allows us to feel the emotions Frankenstein feels, which really complements the story as there are many extremes of happiness and sadness, allowing the reader to experience these as closely as possible. The first person perspective also gives way to bias, considering we are reading Frankenstein’s personal reaction to events, rather than a third person view which gives an unbiased explanation of events. Through his telling the sad novel which is Frankenstein, we sympathise with his hard ship, creating a stronger bond between him and the reader, which gives him priority in importance over all other characters which we only perceive through his thoughts and personal descriptions of. The only other first person source in the Novel is Walton, who can only give a description of Frankenstein alone, describing him as having a “Full tone voice”, “lustrous eyes” and a “thin hand”. While not giving an insight to his emotions, does give us an idea of his state at the end of his pursuit through the icing lands following the creature. However this description is at the beginning of the book, causing confusion as to how he became like this, a clever device by Shelley to draw the reader into the character and become intrigued with Frankenstein, further enhancing his importance to the reader and to the Novel in general.

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The main themes in the novel are, the use of dangerous knowledge, beauty and tranquility in nature and monstrosity. All of which are only fully explored by male characters, Frankenstein and the monster. The theme of dangerous knowledge is prodominently when Frankenstein is using top level scientific knowledge which he doesn’t know the consequences of to create a monster. This theme is only explored through Victor and women have no significance in it, giving a indication that men take a more important role in getting across the themes in the novel. Beauty in nature is often used by both ...

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