Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essays

1283 Words Oct 3rd, 2015 6 Pages
In Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein, there seems to be some issues with gender. While this novel was written during a predominantly patriarchal time for women, it is interesting how Mary Shelley, a female author, would submit to portraying female characters as powerless figures. As the daughter of the “first feminist,” Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin “a radical philosopher,” Mary Shelley seemingly misrepresents women in her novel. Additionally, Mary Shelley excludes females as a whole except as a subservient supportive role for a male (Ball). Moreover, Mary Shelley illustrates Caroline, Elizabeth, and Justine as helpless damsels in distress whose only saving grace is that of a male. Shelley further illustrates how their powerlessness and passiveness contributes to their demise; thus ultimately not just misrepresenting them but silencing them for good.

First, we see the role of Caroline Beaufort as a daughter, wife, and mother. As a daughter, Caroline, poverty stricken, cares for her sick father “with the greatest tenderness” and “her courage rose to support her in her adversity” (Shelley 41). Caroline, noble and brave, never falters and puts her needs secondary to that of her fathers, during this challenging time. In fact, as her father 's condition worsens and “her means of subsistence decreased,” Caroline continues to care for her father until “her father died in her arms, leaving her an orphan and beggar” (Shelley 41). Caroline 's altruistic ways leaves…

Related Documents