Women in Frankenstein and the Brave New World

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Compare Shelley’s Presentation of Women in Frankenstein with that of Brave New World

Throughout the novel, Frankenstein, a feminist theme subtly pervades the novel, and is crucial to the characters of the story, the plot line and the setting of the novel. The reasons for the creation of the monster lie within Frankenstein's own familial relationships, especially with the grief he experienced at the loss of his mother.

Frankenstein is riddled with passive female characters who suffer throughout the novel. However, not one female character throughout the novel ever exhibits behaviour outside of the submissive female role. Elizabeth, Victor's love, dies at the hand of the male creature, while waiting for Victor to rescue her. Elizabeth is unable to do anything to defend herself without the help of a man. Equally, Justine Moritz is sentenced to death for a murder the creature also committed. Once again, she is unable to defend herself and prove her innocence and dies for it. Some may argue that Justine is a victim of circumstance however, but her docile role leaves her helpless to make her own destiny and defend herself against the false accusation.

Mary Shelley's own family life affected contents of the novel as well. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, a strong activist in the feminist movement, had died shortly after her own birth, and both her and her sister did not take kindly to their Father's second wife, Mary Clairmont. During the nineteenth century, within Genevan society, where the novel was first written, men dominated the social and intellectual employment, whilst women only occupied the domestic work/lifestyle. Although the passivity of female characters is at a constant throughout the novel, perhaps coming to the conclusion that Frankenstein is simply a misogynistic text is unreasonable. Shelley's feminist background, as a daughter of Wollstonecraft, questions the motives behind stereotyping traits of all of the female characters in the novel....
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