Feminist Themes Throughout Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

457 WordsFeb 17, 20182 Pages
Throughout one of her better renowned works, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft wishes “to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body.” Approximately three decades later, her daughter, Mary Shelly, writes such a horrific, gothic novel that is ironically devoid of any strong female leads – Frankenstein. Though filled with feeble female characters which highlights the brusque treatment of women within a patriarchal society, Frankenstein has a more enthralling philosophy to voice. The theme of Frankenstein essentially derives from the fact that though men retain the leading roles throughout the entire novel, it is full of mistakes they make; therefore, Mary Shelley is making a truly feminist point by stating that women are the primary gender who source livelihood within society. Throughout the novel, the women take on the role as a representation of virtue and innocence. The women provide a channel of action for the men; they are the moral compass that allow characters like Victor to follow set ethical guidelines. They are also the objects of Romantic ideals in contrast to the idea of Enlightenment particularly portrayed within the male roles. Shelly develops these female roles in order to emphasize her position on the roles of women and their absence from the process of creation. Victor abandons the Creature and does not give the sensitivity and compassion in which he desires from his creator. It is implied that the Creature
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