Gender Roles And Equality In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Gender Roles and Equality Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a horrific novel that avoids strong and independent female leads. It is hard to believe the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, an important feminist, could write such a thing. Within Frankenstein, it seems as if Mary Shelley is demoralizing women by keeping them fairly absent and focusing upon men in the novel (Behrendt 1). Shelley acts against women by making the three main narrators of Frankenstein men. Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and the monster all narrate this haunting tale. However, these central characterized men make plentiful mistakes throughout society. One may think, therefore, that Shelley’s treatment of Dr. Frankenstein and Walton actually acts as a female critique of male ambition since the characters both possess an insensitivity that leads to their downfall (Aldrich and Isomaki 3). Perhaps, in her novel, Shelley is actually showing how women are instead a backbone to society. Mary Shelley makes a truly feminist point within her well-known literary classic, Frankenstein. In her own life, Mary Shelley was left motherless ten days after birth when her mother died of a fever. Instead of having a strong motherly figure in her life, her father William Godwin raised her. Unlike Mary’s mother who was a feminist, Mary’s father was a radical (Moers 2). Shelley's novel illustrates an issue many ambitious women of the nineteenth century faced. Because they were dependent on men and the social order,
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