Shelley’s incorporation of suffering and death of her female characters portrays that in the 1800’s it was acceptable. The women in the novel are treated as property and have minimal rights in comparison to the male characters. The feminist critic would find that in Frankenstein the women characters are treated like second class citizens. The three brutal murders of the innocent women are gothic elements which illustrates that women are inferior in the novel. Mary Shelley, through her novel Frankenstein, was able to give the reader a good sense of women’s role as the submissive sex, through the characters experiences of horrific events including but not limited to brutal murder and degradation, which is illuminated by her personal life experiences and time period of romanticism.
In accordance, Lavanza through her mother’s death wish complies to marry Victor Frankenstein. However, she is sees him going through a rough time and with caution confesses her love for him. Even as she confesses she goes in the weak role of giving Victor the choice to walk away from her life and marry another girl if he wishes too. Thus, the weak role of women is evident through Elizabeth Lavanza’s passivity. In comparison to Elizabeth Lavanza, Elizabeth Proctor also exemplif... ... middle of paper ... ...t because she still loves her husband.
In addition, as Walton becomes better acquainted with Victor, he gets less affectionate and informative in his lett... ... middle of paper ... ...to women, however today’s society also has some contrasting ideals. Mary Shelley depicts the Romantic ideal of inferiority of women in Frankenstein. These ethics can be compared and contrasted with values of today’s society. Shelley had all male narrators to accentuate the belief of male superiority. The female orphans of the story portray the assumption that women are helpless and the lack of letters from Margaret emphasizes the essential worthlessness of a woman’s opinions.
This removal of nearly two female characters this early is a portrayal of the frailty of the female sex. This is not the only time feminism is removed from the novel. In an article entitled “The Monster in a Dark Room: Frankenstein, Feminism, and Philosophy”, Nancy Yousef states that “Not surprisingly, the creature’s nonbirth, occluding an unavoidably female act, has dominated feminist interpretations of Frankenstein.” (Yousef 198) Hitting the nail on the head, Yousef makes an excellent observation. The creature was not born by any natural means as he was a creation of Victor’s. By removing the natural birth of a human through a woman’s reproductive organs, Shelley is making a statement as to the oppression of the female sex within the late 18th and early 19th century.
Slowly, she played the role of Victor’s mother’s and Elizabeth’s mother-in-law. She was so kind and sympathetic towards Elizabeth when she found her in an orphanage and decides to adopt her into the Frankenstein family. This evidence deduces the fact that women in olden times used to be more caring and dependent. Without men, they would become the victims of poverty and would struggle for a basic standard of living. Along with struggle, women have died because of men’s self-absorbed nature.
She had been caring for her ill father as ‘her time was more entirely occupied in attending him’ but when his death came she was left ‘an orphan and a beggar’. Even though she had worked tiresly in his need. She was in reality only a form of comfort to him until death came. Alphonese Frankenstein was friends with her father Beaufrot, and on a visit to the chamber he discovered Caroline weeping by her father’s coffin. Some would argue that Alphonese is the ... ... middle of paper ... ... sex, perhaps Victor is unable to have a female relationship with anyone except his mother.
On the other hand, Shelley illustrates Safie as a woman who speaks up for her own rights when her father forbids her to find Felix. The three points that contribute greatly to the passive role of women are the lower of rank women in society compared to men, women being seen as possessions for men to protect, and women admired for their superficial beauty. To begin with, Victor describes how his mother, Caroline Beaufort, meets his father, Alphonse Frankenstein, after Caroline’s father died in poverty. Victor mentions, “He came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl, who committed herself to his care; and after the interment of his friend, he conducted to Geneva, and placed her under the protection of a relation” (Shelley 28). Even though Caroline is younger than Victor’s father, she has no choice, but to marry him.
Although the death of a woman depicted her to be strong, the non-existence of a woman also made her appear strong in the novel. When Frankenstein mentions the negatives of making a female creature, he says how “a ... ... middle of paper ... ...nging, “I looked…upon Elizabeth as mine –mine to protect, love, and cherish” (23). Elizabeth is not the only women to be depicted as weak; Caroline Beaufort is also weak as well. When her father becomes poor he also becomes very ill and is taken care of by his daughter, but after he dies no one is there to take care of her. That was when “He came like a protecting spirit” (20) and saved Caroline from a continuance of a bad life.
When Justine was wrongly accused, Victor makes a decision on how to act. While Elizabeth pleads with him, ultimately Victor has the final say, showing where the power lies with their relationship. The way Victor explains his parents' relationship to Walton, also portrays a very passive, nourishing, mother who is incapable of taking care of herself so that Victor's father "came as a protecting spirit to the poor girl, who committed herself to his care." The relationship between his parents also points out the passiveness and dependence of women. In the case of Justine, when the creature, intelligently, murders William Frankenstein, everyone accuses her.
Lastly, the female characters in this novel are in many ways victimized by the male characters. In conclusion, in Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein, the female characters always fulfill the limited and archetypical roles that are set for them by society. In this novel, many female characters are considered to be possessions. In fact, they are considered to be the servants of men. “I have a pretty present for my Victor—tomorrow he shall have it.” (Mary Shelly, Pg.