How Does Shelley Present Relationships Between Men And Women?

996 words - 4 pages

How does Shelley present relationships between men and women?

Shelley present relationships between men and women in various ways
but they all have an inter-linking message within them. This is that
women are dependent on men in the majority of relationships.

Shelley uses characters as examples of different relationships; for
example Caroline and Alphonse’s relationship is a very loving one. All
that Frankenstein says of his parents his good things, for example he
says, “Active spirit of tenderness that animated both,” the majority
of descriptions of their relationships is similar to this. Their
relationship effectively creates a benchmark with which to compare all
the other relationships with. None of the others is anywhere nears as
perfect as theirs is described.

In comparison to their relationship Walton’s relationship with his
sister is significantly less passionate. Walton expresses his love for
his sister occasionally, he says, “I love you very tenderly,” he is
however not in touch with the emotional turmoil you would expect his
sister to be going through. Emotionally Walton is naive; their
relationship is long distance, and it is clearly obvious Walton has no
experience in communicating his feelings. Their relationship is an
unsure one.

The main relationship between Victor and Elizabeth is of great
contrast, especially between them. As the novel goes on it is apparent
that Victor stands for evil, he is selfish, lets an innocent die and
his self-piteous as well as ignorant. Elizabeth on the other hand
stands for love, caring and is completely unselfish. They are two
complete opposites, but they are supposedly in love. There is huge
contrast between them, and their relationship is quite rocky. They
have been separated for six years, if they truly loved each other one
would of seeked the other out at some stage. It is hard to get an idea
of love between the two. Shelley has presented their relationship as
one of great contrast. She also portrays the other relationships with
contrast.

None of the relationships in the novel are similar. Walton’s
relationship is one of naivete, Caroline and Alphonse is one of great
love, and Victor and Elizabeth is one of sadness. The main message is
that relationships are struggles and have both pain and joy within
them.

Shelley portrays relationships as either really caring, or complete
ignorance of the others feelings. Victor is shown as a person who
cares for no one, for example after his mother dies he says, “grief is
an indulgence,” this highlights how emotionally cold he is, he is has
no sense of pity, apart from onto himself. Victors cares very little
about others. Another example is how he treats Elizabeth, he goes six
years with minimal contact with her, and he has no idea in this time
of her existence. He also expresses no desire in the chapters of his
exile of a desire to see her again. It again shows his complete
absence of caring for...

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