There are numerous numbers of novels and books that offer different portrayals of the female gender

1700 WordsApr 23, 20197 Pages
There are numerous numbers of novels and books that offer different portrayals of the female gender and femininity in the early nineteenth century, each novel shedding a different light on women, their gender role, and the definition of femininity during this time period. The first thought that pops into most people’s minds is Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman or any Jane Austen novel. People do not typically think of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Nonetheless Frankenstein offers us the reader an extremely well portrayal of the female gender in the early nineteenth century while also providing us with the cautionary tell on why no man should ever attempt to play God for the reason that only God can play God. In this…show more content…
In more common terms femininity is to be passive, eager to please, male dependent, and unenlightened. However the characteristic of femininity and being a women most stressed is that women and femininity are own by men and masculinity, in short all women belong to men. While reading her daughter, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein it can be argued that she used Wollstonecraft’s definition of femininity to create characters such as Elizabeth Lavenza, Justine Moritz, and Caroline Frankenstein. Each of these female characters displays more than one of the characteristics of femininity. One character that displays all of the characteristics is Elizabeth Lavenza. Elizabeth is the only female character to appear in all three volumes of the novel. She is also the cousin, and wife to Frankenstein’s main character Victor. She embodies every characteristic of femininity and the female gender described by Wollstonecraft. This description of Elizabeth is “She was docile and good tempered, yet gay and playful as a summer insect.”. (Shelley, Pg. 20) That was Victor’s description of Elizabeth when they were children; she remains that way throughout the entirety of the novel. That quotation easily supports Wollstonecraft’s argument that women are taught from infancy that they are to remain docile. The description describes Elizabeth as being
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