Argument For Equal Treatment Of Women In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

845 WordsDec 4, 20174 Pages
Being the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, a well-known feminist for her book A Vindication of the Rights of Women, it is no surprise that Mary Shelley too would become a strong advocate for equal treatment of women. Though it may be strange to think that a feminist would write a book without any strong female characters. It is the absence of women that create a feminist theme within Frankenstein. Throughout Frankenstein, Shelley showcases the importance of women in society, through the flaws and mistakes of men in the absence of women, along with criticizing the limiting role the idealized woman holds. When first looking at the book, it would seem as if Shelley was against gender equality, or felt indifferent towards women, due to…show more content…
The female sex was believed to have been much weaker, not as intelligent, and inferior to the male sex. This led men to believe that women were incapable of performing activities seen as masculine. Writing is one of them: “writing, reading, and thinking are not only alien but also inimical to ‘female’ characteristics” (Gilbert and Gubar). Anything that was not seen as a woman's thing automatically became for men and men alone. Due to “invention” and “creation” not being one of the few things women could do, women were believed as incapable of writing. If a woman did, somehow, succeed in writing, it was freakish and unfeminine, and often even stolen, since, after all, it was a male’s characteristic (Gilbert and Gubar). Whenever a woman would write, men would see it as an attempt to cross boundaries placed my nature. Crossing boundaries seemed to men as a rebellion against authority (men) and “[…] in patriarchal culture, female speech and female ‘presumption’ –that is, angry revolt against male domination– are inextricably linked and inevitably daemonic” (Gilbert and Gubar). Undoubtedly, the life of female writers was very risky. Like Robert Southey said, "Literature is not the business of a woman's life, and it cannot be" (Gilbert and Gubar). And yet, Shelley proved them wrong by supporting herself financially through her writing. In Frankenstein, Shelley challenges the traditional gender roles

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