This illustrates Victor’s knowledge and understanding of Henry’s significance in his life and in whom he has become. Elizabeth, another childhood friend of Victor, serves as a source of consolation for Victor in times of depression through her many letters. At a young age, Elizabeth is not only brought into the family to be Victor’s companion, but she is also pressured into taking on a maternal role when Caroline, on her deathbed, tells her, " ‘Elizabeth … you must supply my place to your younger cousins’ " (Shelley 35). Elizabeth becomes the sole woman of the family, taking on the former duties of Victor’s mother; in a sense, becomes the mother, sister and lover of Victor. When Victor chooses to leave for his studies, she does not request that he stay home and marry her, but rather fulfills her duties in the Frankenstein home and cares for him at a distance.
There are many ways to interpret a literary text, especially one as laden with ethical questions and literary allegory as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Shelley's complex family dynamic - her conflicted relationship with her father, her need to please her mentor/husband with literary success, her infants' deaths - enhances the intrigue of the novel and suggests multiple themes and layered meanings. One discernible theme in Frankenstein is illuminated by the bold line that separates male character from female: The men inevitably fail the women whom they claim to love, but the women are maddeningly passive, seemingly blind to the men's inadequacies. Here, however, this passivity is a
In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley explores a wide range of themes concerning human nature through the thoughts and actions of two main characters and a host of others. Two themes are at the heart of the story, the most important being creation, but emphasis is also placed on alienation from society. These two themes are relevant even in today’s society as technology brings us ever closer to Frankenstein’s fictional achievement.
Can you imagine Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein, the great work of literature, without, for example, such female characters as Mrs. Margaret Saville, Elizabeth Lavenza, and Justine Moritz? In this case the novel will have no meaning. All the women help to develop the plot, and without them Frankenstein will lose its spirit. Although these heroines have a lot in common in their characters: they are all strong-willed, kind, careful, and selfless, at the same time, each of them is unique, and each plays her own role in the novel. Mrs. Margaret Saville is the woman to whom the narrator tells the story. Elizabeth Lavenza is the beloved of Victor Frankenstein. Justine Moritz is the heroine who is accused by mistake of murdering
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.
Mary Shelley presents Victor engaging with Elizabeth in all social female roles: wife, mother, and sister. He is also presented as engaging with her body in all possible variations, creating her body through
throughout this novel and the movie. The decline is a less gradual one in the novel but a
There are many different themes expressed in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. They vary with each reader but basically never change. These themes deal with the education that each character posses, the relationships formed or not formed in the novel, and the responsibility for ones own actions. This novel even with the age still has ideas that can be reasoned with even today.
Women in the novel are considered as the submissive sex compared to their fellow counterpart who are men. In characterization, Shelley characterizes the different women characters in the book as disposable, passive, as well as utilitarian. The female characters being submissive serve nothing in the novel other than an active channel for their male counterparts. This kind of treatment women get in the story teaches a lesson to the male actor. The female characters in the novel are Agatha, Elizabeth, Justine, Safie, and Margaret. An example of female character mistreatment is the framing of Justine for the death of William Frankenstein. Despite being innocent, her gender betrays her and therefore framed. Perhaps the most critical emotional channel in the novel is Frankenstein’s betrothed Elizabeth. Described as a passive, gentle character from the beginning, Elizabeth has always been a soft spot for her fiancé. Frankenstein views her as a possession: “I looked upon Elizabeth as mine - mine to protect, love and cherish. All praises bestowed on her I received as made to a possession of my own”.
Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, had been raised by strong women’s rights advocates, which makes her characterization of the women in her story a wildly controversial discussion topic even all these years later. Mary Shelley’s philosopher father paid for her high education, and her mother wrote several works about equality for women. She lived a substantially progressive lifestyle, considering the time period in which she lived. This has raised many questions regarding the weak female characters in her story, due to her own very contrasting beliefs.
In addition to her proposition that a patriarchal society will ultimately lead to chaos, Shelley uses the character of Frankenstein to illustrate that men are not the strong leaders of society they claim to be. Frankenstein is brave enough to go as far as creating life without a woman; however, as soon as his brainchild comes to life, Frankenstein essentially
Upon further probing, there is perhaps a deeper terror rooted in Frankenstein, which subtly appears to stem his hesitancy at creating not just another monster, but specifically a female monster. Because Victor Frankenstein fears the existence of a female free of restrictions that he cannot impose, he destroys her, thus eliminating the female’s options of becoming either completely feminine through becoming a mother and mate, or totally unfeminine by opting to leave her partner and face the world alone.
In the novel Frankenstein, the author Mary Shelley reinforced the role of female nature in a book that is predominantly male-oriented. The female character is an underlying feature throughout the whole novel. For example, when Victor Frankenstein created his Monster from dead body parts, he disregarded the laws of female reproduction. Both Anne K. Mellor and Jonathon Bate argue that Victor defiled the feminine nature when he created his Monster from unnatural means. Mellor argued in her essay, “Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein,” that Victor eliminated the necessity to have females at all (355). There will not be a need for females if new beings are created in a laboratory. The disruption of mother nature is one of the novel’s original sins (479). In Bate’s essay, “Frankenstein and the State of Nature,” he argued that Victor Frankenstein broke the balance between female principles of maternity and mother nature (477). Frankenstein broke nature and undermined the role of females. The argument of Mellor was more persuasive than the discussion of Bate because she was able to provide more evidence that Victor Frankenstein dishonored the role of female nature.
In the book Frankenstein the Gothic novel included many characteristics to describe women such as love, disappointment, and horror Frankenstein” the author offers a different point of view for women in their family and social roles. The women in Frankenstein did not have many opportunities for them to explore and find themselves. Many women lived in the cycle of taking care of their family, staying home, and being a good wife. Women were treated more like property with minimal rights. Women in Frankenstein were brutally murdered and treated as somebody who was poor.
Several fields have studied the relationship between creator and creation. The most significant aspect of this research considers the difference between nature and nurture. Sociologists, psychologists, scientists, and other professionals have tried to pin down the exact distinctions between these two types of upbringings. In literature, the same questions have been asked and studied using fictional characters, most famously in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, in 1667, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in 1818. The complexity of the characters in these texts creates the theme of nature versus nurture before they diverge and arrive at differing conclusions.