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Patriarchal Allegory In Frankenstein

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The True Monster
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by the English author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley that tells the story of a young science student Victor Frankenstein, who creates a sentient but grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. What amazed me the most is the fact that Mary Shelley wrote this book when she was 18. In this paper, I want to critically argue and demonstrate who the real monster is; Victor Frankenstein or the creature. I believe the real monster is Victor Frankenstein and I will provide my reasons through textual and critical evidence.
First, I will analyze Victor Frankenstein’s behavior from the time he created the creature. One can argue that Victor creating the creature is
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For example, when Victor decided to create life from the lifeless, his personal preference was a male life and not a female life, which suggests his disregard for the female gender. Even when Victor created a female creature for the male creature, Victor ended up tearing her into pieces, and this can be seen as a patriarchal allegory for the denial and the degradation of women. According to Anne K. Mellor, on women, patriarchy, and Victor, “On the cultural level, Frankenstein’s scientific project—to become the sole creator of a human being—supports a patriarchal denial of the value of women and of female sexuality” (356). We can clearly see that there are patriarchal elements in the novel, specifically with Victor Frankenstein’s role, in creating a male monster as this clearly devalues women, and also devalues female sexuality because Victor tore his female creation into pieces. From that sense, Victor’s portrayal as a patriarchal monster who degrades women contributes to his monster-like…show more content…
Victor could have easily gotten rid of the creature if he had given life to his female creation; Victor would have been happy with Elizabeth and with Henry Clerval, but his fear, ego, and selfish behavior got in the way of his judgement. “A race of devils would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror” (119), which implies that Victor fears and maybe even despises the power of procreation that women possess. Mellor, on Victor’s patriarchal behavior, “Victor Frankenstein violently reasserts a male control over the female body, penetrating and mutilating the female creature at his feet in an image that suggests a violent rape” (361). This suggests that Victor is a patriarchal monster that wants to oppress and degrade women. Furthermore, Mellor explains Victor’s fear of female sexuality, “What Victor Frankenstein truly fears is female sexuality as such. A women who is sexually liberated, free to choose her own life, her own sexual partner (by force, if necessary)” (360). Victor is clearly represented as a patriarchal monster that does not want women to have this amount of sexual freedom, and that is why Victor broke the monster’s promise; Victor wants to assert his patriarchal power by destroying his female creation
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