Degrading Female Roles In Frankenstein Analysis

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essica Armenta
Professor Katrina Sire
WRT 111
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
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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 muted by the men. In other words, the women are failed protectors or guardians of the men because they allow the men to take control of their lives. For example, when Caroline caught the scarlet fever trying to nurse Elizabeth back to health and then died, Victor said that even in death, her face expressed affection. Even though Caroline got sick because of Elizabeth, she died happily without anger, which can be interpreted as a type of silence. Caroline still managed to think about her family and their happiness and safety, appointing Elizabeth as the new caretaker of the house and the keeper of the Frankenstein men. Another submissive, female character is Justine. When she is wrongfully accused of Williams’ murder, instead of pleading not guilty, she confesses a lie, pleads guilty and is sentenced the death…show more content…
Though she is forever silent in the text and Walton never receives a letter from his 'dear sister ' (15), the England-bound Margaret has finally a presence as pervasive and substantial as a ghost 's. (83)
Margaret is never directly introduced to the reader and is used as a bridge in order for the audience to hear Walton’s story. She never replies to any of the letters therefore we do not know what she is feeling or thinking. The fact that Margaret has no voice and no body, makes her the ultimate ghost. The women in Frankenstein are also represented as weak, dependent on men and are only there to cater to the men. For example, when we are first introduced to Caroline, she lives with her father and put his needs before her own, His daughter attended him with the greatest tenderness; but she saw with despair that their little fund was rapidly decreasing, and that they was no other prospect of support. But Caroline Beaufort possessed a mind of an uncommon mould, and her courage rose to support her in her adversity. She procured plain work; she plaited straw; and by various means contrived to earn a pittance scarcely sufficient to support life.
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