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The Role Of Females In Frankenstein By Mary Shelly

999 words - 4 pages

“Iron man” is a superhero, but “Iron woman” is a command. Although these statements maybe risible it carries 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, at the other end 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 classic novel, Frankenstein, also shares this fact about women. Women are portrayed as weak throughout the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, because they are dependent on men, treated as property, and helpless during troubled times.
Some may believe that women were portrayed to be strong in the novel through the act of sacrifice and through their potential to bring great change. Justine was a character that held a strong reputation in the story. She was portrayed as strong because she was not afraid to die when the townspeople accused her of murder for William’s death. “I do not fear to die” (Shelley 76) are fearless words that come out of Justine that are so strong because it gives Justine respect for what she did from her current family members, and it makes Victor guilty because he did not confess the true cause of William’s death. Although the death of a woman depicted her to be strong, the non-existence of a woman also made her appear strong in the novel. When Frankenstein mentions the negatives of making a female creature, he says 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 says how she (the creature) would have monster children and create an era of terror among the human race. In this instance, the female monster that has not even been created yet appears to be unbelievably strong. Both females are characterized 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 strong in the novel, they 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…should be conveyed to a place of safety” (113) is an example of how women are weak, because Safie could not find her father a safe place and get him...

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