The Maternal And Fear Of The Womb

960 WordsJan 18, 20164 Pages
In Frankenstein, the need to abnegate the maternal and fear of the womb seems to be an inherent, even subconscious, impetus behind the scientist’s choices. Matrophobia is evident throughout the Gothic where the maternal protector is usually absent; either deceased like Madame St. Aubert in The Mysteries of Udolpho or imprisoned like Louisa Bernini in A Sicilian Romance. The mothers that continue to be present in the narrative are usually oppressed, such as Hippolita in The Castle of Otranto, or deviant, as Laurina is in Zofloya, where she is ‘the primary cause’ of all the misfortune in the novel (Dacre 246). Frankenstein seems to share this desire to eliminate the maternal but disguises his impulses under the guise of rational thought and logic. For example, when Frankenstein decides not to fulfill his promise of making a companion female monster, he presents this as a rationalised decision, weighing up whether he has ‘a right’ to ‘inflict this curse’ upon humanity (174). However, a closer analysis of his reasoning reveals that Frankenstein is primarily preoccupied with the monstrous fertility of a female creature since, through her, ‘a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth’ (174). We might recall that when creating his male progeny, Frankenstein was not afraid of a ‘race’ or ‘new species’ since he was still the absolute creator (80). Although the creature has not mentioned offspring, Frankenstein does not have the actual power of the divine to restrict
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