The Analysis Of Women In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Satisfactory Essays
Bria King
AP Literature
December 18, 2013
The Analysis of Women in Frankenstein
From the beginning of time in history, women have always been portrayed as and seen as the submissive sex. Women especially during the time period of the 1800s were characterized as passive, disposable, and serving an utilitarian function. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a prime example displaying the depiction of women. The women in Frankenstein represent the treatment of women in the early 1800’s. 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.
Many critics have argued how much Mary Shelley’s personal life and background should be considered in the reading and interpretation of Frankenstein which contains many autobiographical references and experiences of her own. Analyzing the combination of a complex novel and biographical information readers find evidence that circumscribes her life produces a possible feeling and intentions that the author may have possessed. During the time period of writing Frankenstein, f...

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...aining tranquil and peaceful. In her own words, she explains, ‘God knows how entirely I am innocent. But I do not pretend that my protestations should acquit me; I rest my innocence on a plain and simple explanation of the facts…’ (women submissive sex).” Not only do her speech and actions demonstrate passivity, but the simple act of being framed proves her to be a submissive victim of a male dominated society.
Many women like those in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein suffer from inequality and oppression. Many women are treated like property and are deprived of rights that men have. The women are murdered and created in Shelley’s novel to represent how quickly women can be replaced. Women are clearly presented in the novel as classless individuals who are forced to comply as submissive beings living under the wing of man, the dominant leader in Frankenstein society.
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