Power In Frankenstein

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Paul-Michel Foucault explains “power is only exercised over free subjects, and only insofar as they are free”. Therefore, the idea is that as humans we are products of our society and have limited freedom as we are governed by our social and political regime. Furthermore, the desire of some people to utilize their power and position can lead to negative and at times inhumane outcomes. In literature, writers often present characters who are either villains exerting their power of victims to this power struggle. In Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein, her protagonist Victor wants to create new life and although he battles his conscious, he allows his desire to overrule his moral compass and religious influences to benefit his self-interests.…show more content…
They use their power as a tool to reinforce independent goals on an extensive scale. In chapter six of the Handmaid’s Tale, Offred lists acts such as beatings, mutilations and executions; as an example of people who have been punished by ‘Gilead’ for failing to comply with their rules. “Beside the main gateway there are six more bodies hanging, by the necks, their hands tied in front of them, their heads in white bags tipped sideways onto their shoulders”. The emphasis on the phrase ‘six more’ allows the reader to imagine how large the scale is and that it is forever growing. Another perspective is that Atwood purposely used the number six to make associations with the devil and highlight the contrast of good and bad with reference to the Bible. Six can denote something as being flawed and impure as it is associated with God’s enemies’. From a Christian perspective christians agree there should be principle of good conduct but they disagree on the forms of conduct in order to gain salvation. From this the reader can infer social agencies in ‘Gilead’ follow the Christian conduct and they believe they’re doing the ‘correct’ thing by punishing and regulating behaviour. Nevertheless, by putting their heads in ‘white bags’ it is ironic because this masks their identities and makes them appear as victims as the colour symbolises purity. These horrific acts highlight cross cultural differences in the society of ‘Gilead’ and western societies
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