Societal Dilemmas Of Frankenstein And Frankenstein

1541 WordsOct 18, 20177 Pages
Jerrold E. Hogle claimed “the longevity and power of Gothic fiction unquestionably stem from the way it helps us address and disguise some of the most important desires, quandaries and sources of anxiety” implying that the relevance of Gothic novels to modern and contemporary subject matters allows them to be timeless classics and provoke different reactions from different eras. This is due to the substance of the Gothic novels, and how the authors were often not afraid to address societal dilemmas. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Dracula by Bram Stoker are two examples of this. Mary Shelly uses Frankenstein’s monster as a metaphorical figure to demonstrate the treatment of the marginalised. This is clarified through the Monster’s…show more content…
However, Count Dracula is illustrated as a villain and the antagonist of Dracula, who the characters are terrified of, whereas Frankenstein’s monster is more of a ‘tortured soul’, meaning Shelley inflicts a moral dilemma on the readers due to the unclear idea of whether Frankenstein’s monster is the antagonist or protagonist. Due to this, the characters individual treatments as the ‘Other’ conflict each other. Dracula is treated far better due to his dominance over other characters and how his physical/mental abnormalities allow him to just be exceedingly powerful. The female characters in Dracula and Frankenstein illustrate the societal expectations of women during the Victorian era. The main culprit is Mina Harker, as she seems to be an incarnation of the quintessential woman during the Victorian era. After she marries Jonathan she becomes attentive to his every need. In one of Mina’s letters to Lucy, she proclaims “I must stop, for Jonathan is waking—I must attend to my husband!” The anaphoric repetition of the imperative ‘I must’ illustrates how Mina believes it is imperative to fit into societal norms for women – during the Victorian era, it is expected of women to be the ‘angel of the house’- someone that cooks and cleans but never is seen nor heard, and excessively polite. This included tending to
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