Frankenstein and the Portrayal of Women by Mary Shelley

996 WordsJun 25, 20184 Pages
“Iron man” is a superhero, but “Iron woman” is a command. Although these statements may be risible they carry an important message that has dated back for centuries. Throughout many years the world has been unified socially with one similarity: the culture of a patriarchal society. A patriarchal society is a social society in which males are the primary figures of authority, owning property, and occupying political leadership. When such important roles are taken by men, women, on the other hand are expected to be obedient, silent, and useless (except in chores). History has numerous examples in books, morals and real life in which women are known through culture to be unimportant. A classic novel, Frankenstein, also demonstrates this…show more content…
This quote shows how she is totally dependent on Victor and in other circumstances she is also dependent on Victor to make her feel better. This is how Elizabeth and Safie are portrayed as weak in the novel. Another way women are portrayed as weak throughout the novel is when Elizabeth is treated like a possession and Caroline is “saved”. Elizabeth is treated like a possession when Victor says, “All praises… as made to a possession of my own” (23) and when Victor refers to Elizabeth as “My more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only” (23). Here Victor’s words make Elizabeth sound like a glass doll, fragile, because she is being treated like a possession. The story itself takes place in a patriarchal society which shows the reader how men are a dominant figure in their culture. In a patriarchal society, men are powerful people and women are obedient to their every wish. Women are raised to follow this culture, because it is a part of their society, for example Elizabeth. The quote also implies how Victor’s opinion of Elizabeth is the only one that matters because she is his only. She is almost depicted as though she has no identity except as Victor’s pretty belonging, “I looked…upon Elizabeth as mine –mine to protect, love, and cherish” (23). Also, Elizabeth is not the only women to be depicted as weak; Caroline Beaufort is also weak as well. When her father becomes poor
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