Women's Rights In Frankenstein

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Women in England during the 1800s faced restrictions to participate in movements and were limited in their political speaking and voting capabilities. Although many women accepted their fate, some fought for a different social role. (“The Women 's Rights Movement”) Women such Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley inspired a new way of radical thinking towards human rights, specifically the rights of women (Surgis). Thanks to these inspiring individuals, there was a change in women’s attitude regarding their options to become part of the work force, gain an education, and have equal rights in marriage (Surgis). Educating women was the primary focus for many modern feminists, explaining that if women were educated the opportunities …show more content…

In Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein, Elizabeth, Caroline, and Justine represent a seemingly “perfect” woman. Mary Shelley ironically writes about each woman with a brief impersonal description of their status and relevance to the story. Elizabeth is presented to Victor as a object for his affection. Victor refers to his cousin as “My more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only” (Shelley 25). By objectifying and claiming Elizabeth as his own, he promises to cherish and always protect her. This signifies the insensitivity of a woman’s importance in society. During Victors life, women were nothing but an object of affection or a object. Caroline, Victor’s mother, dies a respectable death. Shelley writes that “she died calmly and her countenance expressed affection even in death” (Shelley 33). This furthers the idea that women were to remain tranquil and presentably at all times. There is not much detail on her death or the aftermath of her passing, which exemplifies the lack of importance of the female characters. Justine, who was charged unjustly for the murder of William, is sentenced to death and accepts her fate willingly. Although innocence, she remains calm and shows no sign of fear and sacrifices herself. She “appeared confident in innocence and did not tremble” (Shelley 68), which is an admirable quality of female who accepts her fate. Elizabeth, Caroline, and Justine are ironically described in these submissive and objectifying terms in order to support the ideal that women were inferior and insignificant to

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