Essay on The Ghost Of A Self : Female Identity

1408 Words Dec 18th, 2015 null Page
Determining the primary role women play in Frankenstein creates many different beliefs about the strengths and weaknesses the females bring to the gothic novel. For example, Vanessa D. Dickerson, author of “The Ghost of a Self: Female Identity in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” argues that “the females in the novel are quintessentially ambiguous figures: present but absent, morally animate angels, but physically and politically inanimate mortals.” Therefore, Dickerson asserts that the men in the novel overshadow the females in the book, yet when they are sick at heart they are in search of their female companion’s assistance (Dickerson 80+). Her deduction is strongly supported by the different relationships found in Frankenstein as the different male characters dependency on the females is shown through their own thoughts and actions for them. The primary role of women in the book is acting as a sanctuary for the male characters when the men desire to release their affections and worries.
First, an illustration of this reliance is seen with the relationship between Robert Walton and his sister Margaret Saville. Saville while not having a voice or representation other than by references in Walton’s letters is an outlet for Walton’s insecurities and strong beliefs. Saville is as also a representation of Mary Shelley, who waited silently till the year of 1831 to tell the world that she was the valid author of the book and not her husband Percy Shelley (Dickerson 80). However,…

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