Frankenstein and Araby Essay

1469 Words 6 Pages
The delineation of female characters in “Frankenstein” and “Araby” is in a very passive manner. Both Mary Shelley and James Joyce urges the readers to ponder upon the then existing social status of women. The women in these works of fiction are treated as material goods and have minimal privileges with respect to the male character. In Frankenstein, Elizabeth Lavenza is depicted as an object with minimal rights and privileges. She is portrayed as a possession for Victor Frankenstein to protect. In the same manner, Araby explicates the character of Mangan’s sister as a submissive sex. Araby is a narrative about a boy who embarks in a quest to achieve success in his love. Both these stories have the female characters in pivotal roles, but …show more content…
All these instances show the then prevailed idea that woman are just objects with no feelings and intellectual capabilities. There is strong evidence for objectifying the female character Elizabeth Lavenza by Shelly. Shelley, being the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, renowned feminist, wanted to show the world about the low regards and passiveness towards the women in the patriarchal society, which is the reason why Elizabeth is “othered” from the male characters in this story.
Shelley has also “othered” Elizabeth in terms of the words used to address her. There are many instances within the story referring Elizabeth as an “insect” and an “animal”. These words signify that Frankenstein does not consider Elizabeth as a normal human being; in better words, he thought of Elizabeth as a stereotypical woman of the 19th Century. He expected her to be like a "Heidi" who would "lug goat milk up the hills and not think twice"(Moore, 277). Throughout the novel, Elizabeth is described as a perfect, obedient, and submissive woman. She was destined to marry Frankenstein from a very young age, not that she opposed it, but nobody ever asks her consent. The disregard of Elizabeth is evident when Alphonse Frankenstein, Victor’s father, does not take into contemplation Elizabeth’s wish about Ernst Frankenstein’s future. He ignores Elizabeth’s suggestion and tries to force his idea upon