English 4, Period 5
12 March 2015
Shelley’s Reflection Seen in the Eyes of the Creature
In the era in which Frankenstein was written, the role of women was strictly submissive. Although written by a female author, Mary Shelley identified every female character as an objectified, used, abused, and easily discarded being. Characters such as Elizabeth and Justine are passive and gentle women who are placed in the story as more of a supporting role for men instead of being independent individuals. They are also put under false consequences such as Justine being framed guilty because of her gender. Some critics claim that the negative roles women have in the novel are entwined with Mary Shelley’s life as a woman, while others like to compare her role with the creature. Being from the time period it was written in, Shelley framed Frankenstein to represent her position as a female by putting herself in the eyes of the creature.
A feminist theory focuses on the role of women in society and how they respond to the rights and equality compared to men. This perspective does not enforce the idea of females being more powerful than the male gender, but more towards seeking an equal balance of roles. In today’s society, the power of women and the number of feminists are increasing through the usage of social media and women around the world are becoming more educated about their role. This empowering movement developed relatively recently with the assistance of new technology, the spread of awareness, and the availability of education. Before modern times, females were treated with less respect than men and were considered lower in status. Mary Shelley and her famous mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, both lived in this era. Wollstonecraft became a famous feminist philosopher, describing her many thoughts on the role of women in her time and her daughter Shelley, wrote a fiction story with many hints of feministic ideals.
Cited: Poovey, Mary. The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1984. 131. Web.
Hoeveler, Diane. Frankenstein, Feminism, and Literary Theory. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. .
Inbinder, Gary. "English Historical Fiction Authors." : A Strange Relationship ~ Mary Shelley and Frankenstein 's Monster. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. .
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