Frankenstein’s Female Perspective
The story of doctor Frankenstein and the creation of his monster has been a long time classic. Mary Shelley put a great deal of effort throughout the story to awaken certain responses and feelings out of her readers. Anne K. Mellor is one reader who was effected so much she wrote a response in a critical essay called Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein. Mellor’s main focus of criticism was Shelley’s choice of creating solely a male monster, and doctor Frankenstein’s later refusal to create a female form of the “living dead”. An adaptation of such a situation was James Whales film The Bride of Frankenstein, in the film the monster, being constantly hunted by villagers, was seeking a companion to bring light to such a dark life of isolation and distress. Opposed to Shelly’s novel, the film brought the creation of a female into full actualization, this provided a brand new point of view of the females’ part in Frankenstein, and also brings up the question of what may have occurred if the story stayed on that particular path. In Whale’s adaptation Henry Frankenstein (a noticeable change from the novel’s Victor) would not accept Pretorius’ offer to produce the female at the beginning, but after time he finally gave in. He did not do so until after being threatened to lose his wife Elizabeth. This differs with Mellor’s ending that in Shelley’s text “masculine work is kept outside of the domestic realm; hence intellectual activity is segregated from emotional activity” (Shelley, Mellor, 275). In fact, the film encourages a blur between the boundaries of emotional activity and intellectual work. Is Henry involved in the creation solely for his wanting Elizabeth’s freedom, or is he actually interested in the work? It comes across as a combination of both in the film. Although this is made uncertain, Mellor’s criticism of the downplay of a woman’s role is steady throughout both the film and book. In both, Elizabeth is...
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