'In Frankenstein, a man arrogantly takes on the responsibility of giving birth, and the female characters pay for his arrogance.' How far and in what ways do you agree with this view?

1137 WordsDec 14, 20145 Pages
'In Frankenstein, a man arrogantly takes on the responsibility of giving birth, and the female characters pay for his arrogance.' How far and in what ways do you agree with this view? Reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1831) from a feminist perspective brings to light many questions of moral and ethical importance, particularly those associated with the idea of the male protagonist taking on the birthing role as expressed in this view. I very much agree with the negative stance on his usurpation of the mother as it inevitably proves to be destructive, clearly demonstrating a quality of arrogance and disregard. In order to appreciate this viewpoint, we must interpret Victor’s ‘workshop of filthy creation’ as a kind of womb and the…show more content…
Thus, I feel this argument is limited. This ‘Payment’ for Victor’s crime against humanity can explicitly be seen to target the female characters in the novel, although it is important to note that there male characters who are meet similar fates at the hand of the creature. The first casualty is Justine Moritz, whose death is, though indirectly, induced by Victor in two ways. The first is that she is condemned due to the actions of the very product (the creature) of his ‘arrogant’ endeavor (giving birth); and the second is in his choice not to aid her in her struggle, deciding not to speak out in favour of her innocence at her trial in cowardice and once again arrogance. This arrogance is clearly demonstrated when he laments that the ‘tortures of the accused did not equal mine’. Blinded by self-indulgent anguish, Victor even views his emotional pain as superior to that of Justine. She pays for this with her life. Victor’s arrogance also has a damaging affect on Elizabeth. In his seeking a new method of creation, he is rejecting Elizabeth as a sexual partner and child bearer – her primary function as a woman and destiny since arriving with the Frankenstein family – ‘a union’ was always intended. So, she spends the years of Victor’s absence awaiting his return so she can fulfill her purpose. As a result, she pays with the burden of an intense longing and sexual

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