What Are The Female Roles And Responsibilities In Frankenstein?

1146 words - 5 pages

While reading Frankenstein many readers many approach the notion that the Female Roles and Responsibilities were entirely diverse from men. One of many things I found interesting was how the roles and responsibilities of females impacted the lives of men as well. Females played a very important role even thought they were lastly to prosper. When looking for information on how female roles and responsibilities made a difference, I came across many very important articles, which show feminism, the domesticated roles of females, and how females were portrayed in Frankenstein.
In the making of Frankenstein, feminism played a big role in the female’s lives. Frankenstein was created while in the middle of woman’s liberation. While reading Frankenstein one would interpret Feminist opinions, which can be seen as unfamiliar to the female characters of the story. In 19th century Geneva, men were seen as philosophers and inventors and women were seen as emotional and domesticated. The story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley explores feminist matters through the characters of the story. For example, Elizabeth, Victor's love, dies at the hand of the male monster while waiting for Victor to come rescue her. Elizabeth is not able to do anything to defend herself without the help of a man. She meets her death while waiting, for Victor to save her. Also, Justine is put to death for a murder that the monster committed. She is unable to defend herself and prove her innocence against her accusers and dies for it. Justine is a victim of circumstance, but her passive role leaves her helpless to make her own destiny and defend herself against the false accusation.
The examples of how females were depicted in the novel show, Mary Shelley wanted to classify them as hopeless. Shelley wanted the females to appear “selfless, ethereal, unscientific, and invisible” unlike the men who were “scientist, narcissistic, and masculine” (79). In addition, Colleen Hobbs believes Shelley was suffering from “hysteria”(153), which was what gave her the mindset to make a story like Frankenstein. Hobbs suggests that Percy Shelley was sick as well and that is why Frankenstein was characterized with plenty of illness scenes. Hobbs also believes the 19th century was really organized by feminism and muscularity. There was a social gap that prevented feminism and muscularity from combining.
In Frankenstein, domesticated roles played alongside feminism. Females were known to be domestic; they represented nature and heavenly things. “The 19th century Geneva society was founded on a rigid division of sex roles: the male inhabits the public sphere; the female is relegated to the private or domestic sphere” (356), which means Shelley created Frankenstein “trying to abolish the private sphere” (157).
Furthermore, Caroline's death, ultimately, symbolizes the dying of the domestic sphere in Frankenstein's life. Victor explains that he feels unfathomable pain because of his mother's death, and he...

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