Frankenstein- Suffering of an Individual
Anguish, pain, torment and suffering are all a part of our day to day lives. These may issue from a variety of causes such as great deprivation, hardships to emotional and physical loss. Many texts, such as that of Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelly in the early 1800's, depict unalleviated suffering caused by living within societal norms. However very often, these sufferings are inflicted upon people by one individual and in the case of Frankenstein, this source is Victor Frankenstein. This statement becomes evident when examining the intersecting cultural beliefs of gender, class and ethnicity of the time.
Gender expectations are differences created by cultures, therefore it can be seen as a social construct used to organise society in different groups. By doing so, this creates inequalities between both male and females that are predominantly based upon their roles and expectations. As Frankenstein was written in 1816, it was produced in a time frame that was heavily founded on patriarchal norms. This patriarchal belief system unequally allocated power between the sexes, favouring males over females. In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein (the male protagonist) is seen to assert his expectations of a man by transgressing into those of a female as the bearer and nurturer of life- the roles of which are usually associated with motherhood, which is a major site of difference. However, he fails to do so properly rejecting his creation;
" After days and nights of incredible labour and fatigue, I succeeded but I escaped, and rushed down stairs "
Here, one can see how Frankenstein fails to complete the role of a mother, by abandoning his child' and leaving it to fend for itself. As a result, the Creature rightly kills of the loved ones of Frankenstein, causing Frankenstein to feel anguish and pain after each loss. This in turn, can be seen as an attempt to punish Frankenstein for asserting the societal norms of gender