Locked in a Box in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

595 Words Jan 28th, 2018 2 Pages
Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, shows this with the theme passive women in the novel. Victor, the main character, pushes away his fiancee, Elizabeth, postponing the wedding, and watches his family's very faithful servant, be wrongfully hung, for a murder that his own monster did. Mary Shelley seems to build the female characters up just before pushing them back down, showing the treatment of women in society of that time. When Mary Shelley first published Frankenstein in 1818, she did so under the name of her husband, Percy Shelley. Women were treated very inequitably at the time. They could not own property and they could not go anywhere alone. Women were looked upon as property and society was structured to encourage their dependence upon men. They had no choice but to marry, this being the highest purpose of a woman. If a woman did not marry, they were shunned by society, with few opportunities except low paid work. “And when on the morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift…” (Shelley 21) Mary Shelley uses this quote to show how a perfect woman of society was during this time. Like a gift, a woman was placed in a nicely decorated box, in which they could not move, being locked in a box, with no way of escaping the strict unwritten laws that society set upon women. A lady of the 19th century were looked upon as weak, passive and timid, relying entirely…

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