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Frankenstein And The Portrayal Of Women

1246 words - 5 pages

“Iron man” is a superhero, but “Iron woman” is a command. Although these statements may be risible they carry an important message that has dated back for centuries. Throughout many years the world has been unified socially with one similarity: the culture of a patriarchal society. A patriarchal society is a social society in which males are the primary figures of authority, owning property, and occupying political leadership. When such important roles are taken by men, women, on the other hand are expected to be obedient, silent, and useless (except in chores). History has numerous examples in books, morals and real life in which women are known through culture to be unimportant. A ...view middle of the document...

Although the death of a woman depicted her to be strong, the non-existence of a woman also made her appear powerful and vigorous in the novel. When Frankenstein mentions the negative outcomes of constructing a female creature he dreads the horror of how “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” (157) this portends how she (the creature) would have monster children and create an era of terror among the human race. In this particular instance, the female monster that has not even been created yet appears to be unbelievably domineering. Both females are depicted to be strong in the novel, Frankenstein, because they give great sacrifice, and have the potential to make great change.
Despite the fact that some may believe women to appear as capable and strong, they are actually depicted to be weak because they are treated as property, and are helpless in the event of a troubled time. They are treated as property, in this case a bargaining item, when Safie is given to Felix by her father in return for a safe place to stay. “The Turk … by the promise of her hand in marriage…[He]should be conveyed to a place of safety” (113) is an epitome of how women are weak, because Safie could not find her father a safe place to hide and get him out of prison to save him. They needed the help of a man to bring their family back to safety. Safie is a daughter of a Turkish merchant that was adopted by the DeLacey family. In addition to weak women, Safie was not the only woman to be portrayed as feeble, Elizabeth makes a huge impression of weakness when the death of William occurs. Every time trouble comes along, women are helpless to act, in this case Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the orphan child who was taken in by the Frankenstein family, and was lovingly raised with Victor Frankenstein. When William dies, she just sits there and blames the death on herself as if she actually killed him. When “She fainted, and was restored with extreme difficulty”(60) shows her signs of weakness in this given situation. She did not do anything except sit there and constantly weep. The only person that would make her feel better was Victor, “only you can console Elizabeth” (113). This quote shows how she is totally dependent on Victor and in other circumstances she is also dependent on Victor to make her feel better. This is how Elizabeth and Safie are portrayed as weak in the novel.
Another way women are portrayed as weak throughout the...

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