A Summary of Possessing Nature: the Female in Frankenstein Written by Anne K. Mellor

Topics: Female, Male, Gender Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: March 15, 2012
In the critical essay Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein, Anne K. Mellor states that a society for only men is Frankenstein’s vision of creating a hidden good. Frankenstein constructed a male monster and will not develop a female creature due to the fact that he felt there was no reason for a female to exist within his race of immortal beings. Mary Shelley portrayed that Victor Frankenstein’s desire to become a sole creator to supress the value of women and to associate females with private affairs and males with public affairs, this would have consequences. The first consequence is that males would not be able to create a balance between their intellectual and emotional activities. Frankenstein displays this when he cannot focus on his scientific research and love Elizabeth at the same time. The second consequence is that the division of sexual labour is the reason for the destruction of so many women in the novel. The third consequence is that women are unable to effectively function within the public realm. The De Lacys are a family which show value in self-sacrifice, “all work is shared equally in an atmosphere of rational companionship, mutual concern and love” (pg 277). Mary Shelley uses this family to suggest that injustice is caused from the lack of feminine affections and compassion. An attitude of female sexuality is created through the separate spheres of society. This attitude is highlighted when he speaks of his fears during the creation of the female monster. He fears of the independent free will that the monster could possess that couldn’t be controlled by man and he worries that the female will develop desires that are sadistic. Also, he expresses fear that his creation will not like the female or that the female will prefer ordinary males. Lastly, Frankenstein fears the reproductive powers of the female monster and that she will create a whole new species of immortal beings. The destruction of his female creature...

Cited: Mellor, Anne K. “Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein.” Frankenstein. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 1996. 274-286. Print
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