Feminism In Frankenstein

2264 Words 10 Pages
Feminist criticism aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by analyzing depictions of women in literature. When one applies a feminist lens to any given work, one intends to question and interpret ideologies in the text. Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel makes use of this type of critique, as Shelley makes her female characters passive and disposable in order to call attention to the demeaning and destructive behaviors of the male characters in the story. Not only does the novel depict patriarchal views about women, but each of the women also fit into the typical female role of a patriarchal society, whether it involves succumbing to maternal instincts, or possessing an emotional and vulnerable personality. Due to Shelley’s subtle critique …show more content…
Safie is to the narrator exotically alluring, and as a result, is racially fetishized. By way of example, in Hoeveler’s essay entitled “Frankenstein, Feminism, and Literary Theory,” Hoeveler refers to Spivak’s “Three Women 's Texts and a Critique of Imperialism,” and how it briefly analyzes “the objectification of Safie as an eroticized Other” while also comparing her “to the similarly fetishized dark women in Bronte 's and Rhys 's novels” (Hoeveler). Another example of her objectification is when the creature notices Felix call Safie “his sweet Arabian” (Shelley 93). Although Felix evidently cares for her, she is still in the “Other” category because of her appearance, as well as her inability to communicate effectively upon her arrival. Due to this, the De Laceys begin to educate her, which puts them in control of what she does and does not learn, most likely only giving her that of a typical female education. Overall, Safie’s purpose in the novel is to serve as the relatable “Other.” By being an outsider herself, Safie gives the creature hope for …show more content…
Each meets the patriarchal standards of what a woman is and what she should do in a distinct way, but more often than not at the cost of one’s own happiness. By looking at the women and their unshakable loyalty to the expectations set for them, it is clear that the novel presents typical structure of a patriarchal society. However, Shelley conveys patriarchal society rather satirically by focusing on how this system may be flawed due to the fact that three of the women present in this novel ultimately die as a result of conforming to patriarchal standards. Nonetheless, although each female character was created by a female author, all of them end up exhibiting degrading characteristics. It can be argued that Shelley may have had more motives for doing this than the reader can comprehend. Overall, one intention is clear. By objectifying all women throughout the novel, this conveys to the reader how, despite whether one fits into a patriarchal stereotype or not, this does not make them resistant to male

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