The Role Of Women In Frankenstein, By Mary Shelley

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The novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley and first published in 1818, articulates the story of Victor Frankenstein, a man who was driven by ego to craft an immortal creature that ultimately brings his own destruction through the murder of his loved ones. The novel was written in the 1800s, where the accepted beliefs of gender roles had men and women delegated to separate spheres of belonging, with the female sphere centralized around the home and family. Mary Shelley’s argument is that despite their imposed limitations, the women of Frankenstein are easily overlooked and their actions underappreciated, focusing on the women in relation to men as a way to emphasize the accepted perception of their status while pointing out how little …show more content…
She is the mother to Victor, Ernest, and William Frankenstein, wife of Alphonse Frankenstein and daughter of Beaufort. Caroline works diligently in all the roles assigned to her, caring for her father when he is on his deathbed, for her children and their friends. Her initial introduction, however, had her presented first as a daughter who tenderly cared her father before being given a proper identity. The novel states, “One of his most intimate friends…whose name was Beaufort…retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne…. he lay on a bed of sickness, incapable of any exertion…His daughter attended him with the greatest tenderness…But Caroline Beaufort” (Shelley 21-22). Beaufort has already been introduced as the friend that Alphonse was looking for, however his daughter doesn’t merit the same kind of attention. Her importance at this point is that she is the caretaker of her father, fulfilling her role as a woman of the time period and as a good daughter. Her identity has become overshadowed by the job that she has in relevance to her father. This …show more content…
She is the cousin of Victor Frankenstein and is portrayed as exquisitely beautiful and charming. Many characters, such as Caroline, Alphonse and even Victor consider her the best potential candidate as a wife based entirely on her appearance and initial personality, describing her as, “she was at that time the most beautiful child she had ever seen, and shewed signs even then of a gentle and affectionate disposition. These indications…determined my mother to consider Elizabeth as my future wife” (Shelley 32). Elizabeth’s character is designed to solely revolve around Victor and become his future wife. Even though she suffers through the deaths of Caroline, William and Justine, Elizabeth maintains her affectionate and caring demeanor, ensuring that she takes care of Victor and his family. Shortly after Justine’s execution, despite being entirely unsettled, Elizabeth notices how hard Victor is taking her death, internalizes her own suffering and does all she can to soothe Victor’s desolation. She asserts, “Be calm, my dear Victor; I would sacrifice my life to your peace.” (Shelley 105). This is only one example of the care and devotion she has for her cousin despite any misgivings of her own. Her care is what allow Victor to endure his depressive states for so long and she symbolizes his opportunity for a happy future. Her character aids Mary Shelley’s argument because in

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