Comparing and Contrasting Shelley's Frankenstein with Brook's Young Frankenstein

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Comparing and Contrasting Shelley's Frankenstein with Brook's Young Frankenstein

The 1818 book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and the 1972 movie Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks both portray the differences in feminism regarding the cultural times through the character of Elizabeth. When Mary Shelley wrote the book Frankenstein, she was on a mission to pursue equal rights in education for her daughter. In Shelley's time, the only way to show feminine empowerment was to be literate and well-poised, which readers can see in certain passages featuring Elizabeth in Shelley's book. In the 1970's, when the movie Young Frankenstein was made, female empowerment was emphasized with a movement called “lipstick feminism”, which encouraged women to
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In Elizabeth's letter, however, she is portrayed as lonely and desperate to modern day readers, as she writes “I dare not any longer postpone writing what, during your absence, I have often wished to express to you but have never had the courage to begin” (Shelley 642). A reader in the time when the book was published would probably have overlooked the lonely characteristics represented and seen the fine word choice used by the young lady. This exquisite literacy shows that Elizabeth can hold her own as she is educated and that intellectually, she is on the same level as many men, a prestigious accomplishment of that time. The 1974 film portrayal of Elizabeth is very different than the 1800s book's portrayal due to the high emphasis on feminine sexuality in the culture during the 1970s. In the first scene of Young Frankenstein when the viewer first sees Elizabeth, the lighting of the set is projected so that the viewer sees Elizabeth's features very quickly, while Frankenstein is in her shadow, a symbol that she is overpowering him with her beauty and sultriness. This, as readers can see, is a sharp contrast with the first time Elizabeth is mentioned in the novel, an adopted young child. During this scene in the movie, Dr. Frankenstein is leaving for Europe, and while Elizabeth seems distraught over his departure, she is more

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