Frankestein by Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley Essay

Frankestein by Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley Essay

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley lived in a sexually separated early 19th century Europe when she wrote her classic novel “Frankenstein”, and many ideas of her society reflect in her novel. Mary grew up in an English society where the role of women was primarily limited to the home while their male counterparts were out and about doing whatever such work he did (“Women in the 19th Century”). Much paralleling true society, gender roles in “Frankenstein” are very much different for men as they were for women. In volume I of “Frankenstein”, the main character, Victor Frankenstein, refers to nature as a female – “I pursued nature to her hiding places”(Mary Shelley, 49) – partaking in a gendered segregation whose consequences are everywhere evident throughout the novel; the affects of the separation of genders lead to destruction time and time again in the novel, possibly illustrating the beliefs of Mary Shelley of the consequences of this segregation. “Whether Shelley intended it or not, Frankenstein offers formal and thematic echoes of the revolutionary philosophy that made cultural room, of an ever-evolving shape and nature, for the fictional interventions in political and social realms,” (Batchelor, Rhonda) says Rhonda Batchelor in her essay reviewing feminine voice in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is quite possible that Shelley had no intention of including her views on male directive, but there is greater evidence pointing to the fact that she did in fact include her beliefs in her novel to include into the newly founded woman's movement of her time. This essay will argue that Mary Shelley adds intimations in her novel "Frankenstein", clearly indicating her perception that men viewed women as a feeble second class in the...


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... De Lacey family to represent her alternative ideology: a vision of a social group based on justice, equality, and mutual affection (Mellor, Anne K. 358). Mellor argues that all of these feminist beliefs and thoughts were a result of Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and her book “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”. In this book, Wollstonecraft portrays the consequences of a social construction of gender that values the male above the female. She also argues that females are capable of intellectual greatness equal if not better than men (Grogan, Claire). Mellor states that Shelley was “doubtlessly inspired by her mother's [novel]”(Mellor, Anne K. 356). Finally, Anne Mellor conjectures that Shelley is trying to imply that, had the De Lacey family had a mother figure, they would have been more able to accept the creature into their home (Mellor, Anne K. 359).

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