Feminist Feminism In Frankenstein

1464 Words 6 Pages
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a horrific novel that avoids strong and independent female leads. It is hard to believe the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, an important feminist, could write such a thing. Within Frankenstein, it seems as if Mary Shelley is demoralizing women by keeping them fairly absent and focusing upon men in the novel (Behrendt 1). However, these main characterized men stem many mistakes throughout society. Perhaps, Shelley is showing how women are instead a backbone to society. Mary Shelley makes a truly feminist point within her well-known literary classic, Frankenstein. Mary Shelley’s was left motherless ten days after birth when her mother died of a fever. Instead of having a strong motherly figure in her life, she …show more content…
She is extremely passive and gets thrown back and forth between her family and the Frankenstein’s. However, in Frankenstein her main action in the novel is being framed for the murder of William by the creature. In seeing Justine, the creature realized that she is another beautiful thing he cannot have. However, the creature can in fact destroy her. At the trial Justine was calm. “She was dressed in mourning and her countenance, always engaging, was rendered, by the solemnity of her feelings, exquisitely beautiful.” (Shelley 62). Her actions and speech demonstrate her passiveness. Justine seems to be the easy answer for William’s death, despite the truth. She confessed to a crime she did not commit, because she was pressured by a man. Justine is eventually executed for the crime. Ironically, another woman dies in the plot due to a man’s …show more content…
For such an apparent theme, there are a multitude of interpretations on why the roles play such a big part in the novel. I believe Shelley used her past experiences to add to the gender roles. Shelley shows what she felt as female author in the nineteenth century. When Frankenstein was published many did not even believe that Mary Shelley was the true author. How could a women write such a beautifully mastered thought-provoking piece? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein initially shows women as inferior to men at first glance. However, Shelley uses female roles such as Caroline, Elizabeth, Justine, and others as a teaching method. Women are employed to uphold Shelley’s mother's belief and teaching. Mary Wollstonecraft’s belief that all men and women are equal. This is very obvious upon further reading and research. Feminism did not begin until the nineteenth century. Mary Shelley helped this movement advance with her novel, Frankenstein. From reading her mother's previous feminist work, she was able to incorporate a teaching in her novel. For this reason, faminist critics have shown great interest in Frankenstein (Bennett 1). Shelley notes within her novel, that in order for the world to properly evolve, equality must exist. Almost two-hundred years later people are still reading this novel. Since, women have taken great strides towards gaining equality with men. Without the writing of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley,

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