Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' A Number ' Essay

1956 Words Apr 28th, 2016 8 Pages
Mary Shelley’s frame story Frankenstein (1818) explores the dangers of scientific discoveries alongside challenging father-child relationships in a patriarchal society. Caryl Churchill’s play ‘A Number’ (2002) examines the ethics behind human cloning and questions if a patriarchal society can adjust to this through assessing father-son relationships. The unsuccessful way the men handle situations involving their children is the backbone for most of the troubles in the frame story and play. For instance, absent fathers like Victor Frankenstein and Salter deprive their sons (The Monster & B1) of protection, nurture, and comfort at their births, which is why they later avenge their fathers.
Even present fathers like Alphonse and Salter neglect their son’s needs. Alphonse is critical, and Salter is too affectionate, leading their sons to rebel or suicide. Nonetheless, Shelley and Churchill question parental gender roles. De Lacey is an archetype of normative Victorian fathers in literature. The De Lacey’s are a family with mutual understanding, respect, and love. Whereas, Salter’s wife is the archetype of the ‘normal’ mother showing how insignificant she is to B1 and B2’s development. What influenced Shelley and Churchill to write about their issues on parenthood? There is evidence suggesting that their quite similar life experiences challenged their perceptions on this. Through the ideas the essay will share, it will discuss the absent mother as an impetus for negative…

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