Feminist Feminism In Frankenstein

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Feminism and Frankenstein: What should we really be afraid of?
Born to Mary Wollstonecraft in August of 1797, Mary Shelley joined a lineage rich with feministic pursuits. Undoubtedly inspired by her mother’s famed Vindication on the Rights of Woman, Mary Shelley portrayed feminist ideals throughout her own literature. Her most acclaimed work, Frankenstein, emphasizes the patriarchy through its depiction of Victor Frankenstein’s nineteenth-century Genevan society. Both the overwhelming male dominance and lack of female presence exhibited throughout Frankenstein highlights the importance of females among society.
When Victor Frankenstein seeks to fulfill his divine desire to become the creator of new life- “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (33)- he eliminates the inherent need for a feminine presence among society. By granting himself the title of sole creator of human life, Victor strips females of their primary role in the reproduction process- a role which females have historically derived cultural power from. In his pursuit to create life that “owes” its existence entirely to himself, Victor also endeavors to steal this cultural power from females by eliminating its source. Without the power that their role in the reproduction process affords them, the need for a feminine presence among society ceases to exist- thus making way for what Victor truly desires: a male-exclusive society.

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