Comparing Feminism in Frankenstein and Dracula

Satisfactory Essays
Throughout the texts we have read in English thus far have been feminist issues. Such issues range from how the author published the book to direct, open statements concerning feminist matters. The different ways to present feminist issues is even directly spoken of in one of the essays we read and discussed. The less obvious of these feminist critiques is found buried within the texts, however, and must be read carefully to understand their full meaning- or to even see them.

Mary Shelley's anonymous publishing of her very powerful Frankenstein is a fine example of feminism found in society. Many have criticized her for allowing her husband, Percy Shelley, to edit her work. The society of her day has also received much negative criticism for not allowing her to publish her works with her name directly attached, by non-verbally agreeing they would not buy the works of a woman. For they believed that a woman's work could not live up to the superiority of a man's. Societal disapproval of women taking on roles outside of the home are surprisingly found also within her book. A person can easily see evidence of this, as Walton's sister Margaret is addressed only in letters, with no mention of any accomplishments with the exception of staying home and "being there" for Walton. Elizabeth herself didn't leave home to go on trips, not even when her "dearest Victor" was in the darkest of his troubles. It was not Elizabeth who went to comfort her fiance, she instead remained at home to care for the household affairs. This was no doubt a better place for her, as the society of the times demanded Mary Shelley to agree so that her literature would be sold.

Johanna Smith spoke directly of feminism in several cultures, highlighting on French, British, and American cultures. She spoke of language and politics as they related to feminism. Another woman who directly spoke of feminism was Simone de Beauvoir. Her works highly criticized the way society, particularly men, worked women to a ragged condition. In retrospect, Smith analyzed cultural feminism, while Beauvoir attacked societal feminism.

Bram Stoker craftily allows women to take charge, though at times he allows them to seem pitiful creatures in need of male protection and care. Through the word "journal" in reference to Mina's writings, Stoker allows her to be equal with her male companions. She is also put on the level by being allowed to travel and be an active part of their discussions and works.
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