Professor Katrina Sire
December 8, 2014
Degrading Female Roles in Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein
In Theodór Aldar Tómasson 's article, “The Education of a Monster: A Feminist Reading of Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein,” he argues that,
...the education of the monster, how he learns on his own, is linked with the lack of education for women in Mary Shelley 's society and how the monster is representing women in patriarchal society... the limits of women 's education is demonstrated and what their role was in a patriarchal society along with exploring Mary Shelley 's life and position as a female writer... it seems that Shelley was trying to reveal the weak status of women in society. She incorporates the notion that women 's position within a patriarchal society is weak. She does this by making some women in Frankenstein submissive and weak in behavior. (3)
Critics such as Tómasson argue that the female characters in “Frankenstein” are undervalued and overshadowed by the male characters. It is also known that Mary Shelley’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a proto-feminist, someone who believed women needed an education in order to become better wives, but most if not all the women in “Frankenstein” play dehumanizing roles and are portrayed as weak, submissive individuals and have the sole purpose of serving the men.
Throughout the novel, women tend to have submissive tendencies. In Dickerson 's article, “The Ghost of a Self: Female Identity in Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein,” she compares the female characters to ghost because of their passiveness, inactivity and silence. She argues that they are “potentially keepers of the male characters,” but they fail because they allow themselves to be...
... middle of paper ...
...as a female, abandoned, lost and without an education, but he ultimately learned how to read and write and withstand patriarchal society. His achievements make him a strong female with male behavior.
Dickerson, Vanessa D. "The Ghost of a Self: Female Identity in Mary Shelley 's
Frankenstein." The Journal of Popular Culture 27.3 (1993): 79-91. Web.
11 Nov. 2014.
Johnson, Jennifer. "The Portrayal and Hidden Presence of Women in Mary
Shelley 's 'Frankenstein '" The Harper Anthology. Vol. XVIII. Palatine, IL:
Harper College, n.d. 47-50. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, Or, The
Modern Prometheus. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.
Tómasson, Theodór Aldar. "The Education of a Monster: A Feminist Reading
of Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein." (September 2010): 1-35. Web. 11 Nov.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Sarah Barkan Essay One English 1B In the book “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly, people are judged by their appearances on a daily basis. There is always an assumption of a person’s character or integrity based off of how they look. Unfortunately, these preconceived notions are more often wrong than they are right. It is no wonder that the very popular saying, “never judge a book by its cover” holds a strong truth because there is always much more to a person that what the outward appearance leads us to believe.... [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley]
1105 words (3.2 pages)
- Scientific discovery is a concept that is hard to understand because morality is always in the back of our minds. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a novel that condemns scientific experimentation and exploration. The relationship between Walton and Frankenstein show this as well as the choices Frankenstein makes. Frankenstein is the scientist that goes too far in his experiments, and at the end of the novel, he explains to Walton that he should turn back and let things go. This fight against morality and science is one that is consistent, but the novel condemns science.... [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Experiment]
1295 words (3.7 pages)
- Mary Shelley was the author of many popular books some of these include; Frankenstein, Valperga, The Last Man, and etc. First is Frankenstein, Mary first published this book anonymously in 1818, but in the year 1823 after learning its popularity she published it with her name. This may have aggravated people because women were not respected as much as they are now and they mostly would have preferred it was written by a man. Frankenstein is about a young scientist who goes by the name of Victor Frankenstein.... [tags: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Percy Bysshe Shelley]
1390 words (4 pages)
- Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein as a response to a contest put forth by Lord Byron and her husband, Percy Shelley. The challenge was to write a horror story. Fittingly, her novel was influenced by the discussion they were having regarding the nature of life, referring to Darwin’s theory of Evolution, and the possibility of creating a creature. As a result, she wrote about a curious minded individual, Victor Frankenstein, assembling a creature with human parts and giving it life. The creature is neglected and abandoned, eventually became a monster.... [tags: Frankenstein, Horror fiction, Mary Shelley]
1207 words (3.4 pages)
- ... He loses complete regard for the outside world as he tries his best to perfect the monster, his new creation. At this point in the story, science has completely taken over Victor 's life. To prove this even further, the author writes, "My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement" (Shelley 52). The overwhelming excitement for the science that Victor has is the true downfall to the story. When Victor goes to college to further increase his knowledge on the subject, he surely becomes smarter, however the isolation further increases as he is even more separated from his family than he previously was.... [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Paradise Lost, Novel]
1492 words (4.3 pages)
- In the novel Frankenstein written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, Knowledge is power for Victor Frankenstein. Mary Shelly explains that Dr. Frankenstein’s hunger for the knowledge to create life out of death only leads to Victor’s unfortunate monster. The consequences that Victor Frankenstein experiences from creating a creature from his own madness leads to his death as well as the creature. Mary Shelly explains in her novel Frankenstein that Victor’s need to study life and how it is created is dangerous; furthermore, the abomination that the doctor creates should have never been created; however, the monster that Victor creates is his own monstrosity.... [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein]
2035 words (5.8 pages)
- Knowledge can be a good thing if we use it wisely and properly, but if you don’t use it wisely it may bring a harmless rumor or cause an awful consequence. In Frankenstein’s case knowledge was not a good thing. The novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, was an intriguing story with many comparisons of the great powers in life. It contains many themes of our society today. It contrasts science and literary, technology and human, life and death, but mainly it consisted of knowledge and ignorance. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley makes the theme evident with knowledge in the characters development.... [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Human, Mad scientist]
2030 words (5.8 pages)
- If someone were to ask people who Frankenstein is they would probably describe a tall, hideous monster with bolts sticking out of its neck. But long before movies reinvented their version of the monster, there was a novel by Mary Shelley entitled Frankenstein. In her novel, the monster is shown as child-like and uneducated. But what really makes someone a monster. Who is the true monster of Mary Shelley’s novel. Victor and the Creature present similarities and differences in their action and character throughout the novel.... [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, James Whale, Novel]
1200 words (3.4 pages)
- Frankenstein is a Romantic Horror novel written by Mary Shelley. Originally published in 1818, a revised version was also published in 1831. As a Romantic novel, Frankenstein is very emotional and addresses the connection between man and nature. This nightmarish tale was the result of a friendly challenge between Shelley, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Claire Clairmont to see who could compose the most horrifying ghost story. Shelley won after conceiving the idea of Frankenstein after experiencing a dream.... [tags: Mary Shelley Frankenstein]
1033 words (3 pages)
- The Importance of Self-Education in Frankenstein Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein tells a story about the creation and the destruction of a man considered by society to be a “monster”. In the novel, there is profound meaning to be found in the monster’s self-education. Patterned after the evolution of human learning, the monster’s spontaneous learning proceeds through major stages. First, is the accidental discovery of fire, this is followed by a realization by the monster that knowledge yields power.... [tags: Frankenstein essays]
1124 words (3.2 pages)