“Dad, you are not an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way” (Jane Lindsay). Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is a piece of literature that explores the pent-up resentment in a maternal-like relationship between a shamefaced creator, Victor Frankenstein and his neglected creation, the “monster”. The central plot and main characters revolve around the taboo theme of desertion and shame. Characteristic behaviors and emotions found in the story reflect back to Mary’s own inner dark struggles and memorable moments, in the sense that they are coordinated in a haunting family-like dynamic. Uncoincidentally both the author and multiple written characters share qualities and encounters similar
You’re insignificant to society. You have no role to in your country! Your weak and fragile to many people’s eyes. You're completely controlled by the men's in your life. First, by your fathers, brothers and male relatives and finally by your husbands. Your sole purpose in life is to find a husband, reproduce and then spend the rest of their lives serving him. Once you're married off all your assets belong to your husband. If you do decide to remain single, you would be ridiculed and pitied by your community. Thus the only thing you can be is a housewife and serve your family. On the bright side you are higher than a peasant, but are lower a man. You have to be supported by husband. You are in the early 1800s. The description above was
In Frankenstein, victor’s irrational decision to depart Geneva sees his “spirits and hopes rise” even as he leaves a distraught family, establishing his egocentric ideals and moral fallacy. Meanwhile, shelley depicts the creature as similar to humans through its manner and desire to learn, however, due to his grotesque appearance emphasised through colour imagery ‘yellow skin… and straight black lips’, he is excluded by society and labelled a ‘demoniacal corpse’. This provokes questioning of human morality, and whether the creature is classified as a human. Alluding to Milton’s Paradise Lost, the creature states, ‘I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel’. As an eloquent rhetorician, he employs literary devices such as oxymoron and parallelisms. in stark contrast Victor’s speeches are absurdly melodramatic, with words “expressive of furious detestation and contempt”, reflecting the violence of his feelings. Through the juxtaposition of their language, with Victor’s uncivilised, savaged passions contrasting to the creature’s eloquent, harmonious arrangement of words, Victor’s superiority and intelligence is usurped by his creation. (Through Shelley, we come to a heightened understanding of the significant dangers of humanity’s flawed nature as it provokes a lack of
hroughout the course of the novel, the battle for control of one another takes center stage. There is no one person who is all powerful in the novel, however, there are many relationships that have a balance. Victor and the Creature hold the premier power struggle throughout the novel, they constantly are trying to gain the upper hand over one another. Mary Shelley makes the fight for dominance and power a focal point in her novel by showing the battle for power between conflicting character such as the Creature and the De Lacy family and also between Victor and the Creature.
In the award winning article, “Passages in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein: Towards a Feminist Figure of Humanity?” Cynthia Pon addresses masculinity and feminism in terms of conventions, ideals, and practices (Pon, 33). She focused on whether Mary Shelly's work as a writer opened the way to a feminist figure of humanity like Donna Haraway argued. The article has a pre-notion that the audience has read Frankenstein and Haraway's article. Pon has a slight bias, due to her passion as a feminist writer. It may skew her thinking and at times be subjective. The intended audience is someone who is studying literature and interested in how women are portrayed in novels in the 19th century. The organization of the article allows anyone to be capable of reading it.
All throughout modern literature many different types of critical perspectives can be found while reading. Of the different critical perspectives (such as; Cultural, Feminist, Historical, and Marxist) the Feminist critical perspective provides society with the most compelling view when reading literature. Through the Feminist perspective displayed in literature we are able to see things such as the discrimination and exclusion of women solely based on their gender, the objectification of women, the power and oppression that others hold over them, as well as the different gender roles and stereotypes that women face. In the play, “Othello” written by William Shakespeare as well as the book “Frankenstein” written by Mary Shelley, we are able to see the way the Feminist perspective is displayed, the way it allows readers to have a basic understanding of the struggles of being a woman, and why it provides the most compelling view when reading literature.
Duality is shown in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, a gothic tale of a scientist whom looks to advance the life-giving qualities of mother nature. Through this novel, Shelley proves that good and evil in human nature is not always simple to define, and that everyone has both of these qualities within them. The duality of human nature is shown through the characters of Victor Frankenstein and his monster, who are both heroes in the novel while simultaneously displaying anti-hero qualities. Shelley forces the reader to sympathize with them both but also creates gruesome ideas of the two.
Mary Shelley uses Frankenstein's rationalizations to show how his ego seeks to protect itself. Shelley focuses on how Frankenstein's ego gives Frankenstein a warped sense of reality. This warped sense of reality is first seen when Frankenstein decides to go from having little scientific experience to creating life from nothing. His ego forces him to labor with rot and the dead to achieve a mythical status as first and lone creator of life, further blinding him to the horror of his creation. As the novel progresses, Shelley uses ego to once again rationalize Frankenstein's actions. Shelley uses Frankenstein's injustices towards women to show how Victor's ego works only to further itself. The fact that Frankenstein will allow innocent women to
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Ed. Hunter, Paul J. Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. North & Company, 2012. Print.
The moment Victor Frankenstein successfully infuses life into his creation he is overcome with horror and disgust. Without further examination he is certain to have created a monster, not a human being (Shelley 35-36). However, despite his grotesque appearance, Frankenstein’s creature was not born malicious. During the first stages of his existence, unbeknownst to Frankenstein himself, his acts are motivated by innocence and virtue, which even earns him the title “good spirit” (79). Frankenstein did not create a monster. An unsatisfied need for a sense of belonging transforms Frankenstein’s creature into the monster it ultimately becomes. Therefore, I argue that the predominant theme in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the need for social belonging
The fictional horror novel of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is driven by the accentuation of humanity’s flaws. Even at the very mention of her work an archetypal monster fills one’s imagination, coupled with visions of a crazed scientist to boot. Opening her novel with Robert Walton, the conduit of the story, he also serves as a character to parallel the protagonist’s in many ways. As the ‘protagonist’ of the story, Victor Frankenstein, takes on the mantle of the deluded scientist, his nameless creation becomes the embodiment of a truly abandoned child – one left to fend for itself against the harsh reality posed by society. On the other hand, Walton also serves as a foil to Victor – he is not compulsive enough to risk what would be almost
Society views those who are aesthetically pleasing in a positive way and those who are less pleasant to the eye are immediately judged in a negative way. In the novel Frankenstein, author Mary Shelley shares the comparison between Victor’s actions and how a man should not sacrifice his humanity in the pursuit of knowledge. Mary gives us many examples as to when Victor did not remain engaged in the real world and how that backfired. Victor’s creation slaughters his cousin, younger brother, and best friend. Victor’s actions become the characteristics of a monster to which he kills the monster’s potential mate and causes the death of the most important people to Victor.
Two major themes in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are the suppression of feminine nature and the questioning of the romanticized quest for knowledge. These themes meet when Victor finishes his story and tells the sailors, “Oh! Be men or be more than men.” (Shelley 215), thereby encouraging the self-sacrifice of Walton for knowledge. But this was not his original purpose; before his tale, Victor rebukes Walton’s quest, “Unhappy man! Do you share my madness?” (Shelley 28). After everything he went through, Victor still thought that the quest for knowledge was worth the death of his entire family because male identity is tied to his romanticized quest, “Do not return to your families with the stigma of disgrace marked on your brows.” (215). We must ask, what shifts Victor’s purpose from a warning to a doubling down on his male hubris? In part, it is a refutation on his own feminine nature. His inability to except feminine qualities within himself causes him to fail at caring for his creation, to separate himself from the domestic life, and to view femininity as a
In James Davis’ literary essay “Frankenstein and the Subversion of the Masculine Voice,” he discusses the oppression of women and the minor roles of females in Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein. With a feminist perspective, Davis claims, “He [Victor Frankenstein] oppresses female generation of life and of text; he rends apart both the physical and the rhetorical ‘form’ of female creativity. In fact, all three male narrators attempt to subvert the feminine voice, even in those brief moments when they tell the women’s stories” (307). Throughout his essay, Davis demonstrates the underlying message of Shelly’s subversion towards men and the social consequences of misogyny.
Naomi Hetherington is a member of the University of Sheffield, the department of lifelong learning. She is an early researcher in sexuality, religious culture, the 19th-century literature, and gender. She holds a BA in Theology and religious studies, an MA and a Ph.D. in Victorian Literature. She currently teaches four-year pathway literature degree at Sheffield University for students who have already attained foundation degrees. Among the books, she has written the critique of Frankenstein. I strongly agree with her thesis. Naomi feels that many people perceive the story as that of a high targeter who aims at archiving things that only God can accomplish and instead tends to imply