frankenstein role of women essay

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Saieashwar Mukund
Mrs. Jacobs
Per. 2 HBL
28 October 2013
Roles of Women essay
In the first few chapters of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, she emphasizes the many struggles and hardships that women must endure and uses this to criticize society’s ways. Real life evidence that supports Shelley’s statements is that she had to publish the book anonymously to avoid the prejudices against women that were popular in the nineteenth century. She uses female characters and references of feminine power to express her strong opinions against these beliefs and chauvinisms.

Caroline, Elizabeth, and Justine all had similar events happen in their life. They were rescued, went through suffering, and, in turn, died, as if they have served their purpose on earth and it was their time to leave. When accused of murdering William, Justine says, “’God knows…how entirely [she is] innocent” and she rests her “innocence on a plain and simple explanation of the facts” (74). Even though she has told the court the truth, she has accepted the fact that they do not believe her. Shelley shows a trait of serenity in women when she says that Justine did not care if society knew of her innocence and it was enough if God knew the truth. Also, by describing Elizabeth as having a “saintly soul” that “ shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp” and portraying her as a sweet, celestial being (33), Shelley gives women a power hard to obtain. This makes the death of Elizabeth even more appalling in the reader’s eyes. As a being so natural and essential for humanity is killed, happiness dies along with her. In these ways, Shelley uses the character traits to show women’s importance in society and their superior knowledge that the rest of society chooses to ignore.

Women also must go through many troubles that no one else can understand. When giving “birth” to his creature, Victor could not “describe [his] emotions at this catastrophe” and “had deprived [himself] of rest and health” (51). He realized...