Posted at 10.15.2018
The feminine presences in the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley are being used as a tool by Shelley expressing her views on society and issues effecting women to her viewers. That Shelley's narrative is a feminist work is argued in Anne K. Mellor's article, "Possessing Nature: THE FEMININE in Frankenstein. " Shelley provides particular social criticisms as well as a critique on the patriarchal world, which, at the time that Frankenstein was written, was the dominant political power and institution of thinking. Shelley uses the female presences in the novel to make the reader reflect after and question her judgments of world. In the narrative, it is clear that the three male narrators oppress the words of the female as well as perhaps it is Shelley's intent to issue her readers to think about just how that the womanly voices are kept as powerless and almost redundant because the men are seen as the main protagonists.
The most recognizable of the powerless feminine voices within the narrative is Walton's sister, Margaret Saville. Margret never replies to Walton's words so the reader is left to question her thoughts and reactions to the occurrences related to her through the letters. It can be said that she is utilized by Shelley showing the male's need for companionship of a lady to confide in: "I bitterly have the want of a friend" (Shelley 10), provides us the sensation that the companionship of his sister is enough to meet this dependence on camaraderie. However, Walton also declares "I desire the company of a guy who could sympathize with me" (Shelley 10). This statement makes the existence of Margaret redundant once again as it's the male occurrence he craves not her own (Mellor 281).
Shelley then continues on to examine just how women are portrayed within the book with Elizabeth being referred to as "the most beautiful child ever before seen" (Shelley 19). Both Elizabeth and Caroline, Victor Frankenstein's mother, are shown as the home angel of the home who do not have a tone of voice but spend their time looking after others around them as this is how their role as a lady has been defined, "house wives, childcare providers, and nurses" (Mellor 275). The submissiveness of the females to the male presence is again shown, highlighting their oppression under a patriarchal rule. Victor's information of Elizabeth as "light and airy the most fragile creature on earth" (Shelley 20) helps it be sound as though her presence is something almost supernatural and she is not something that may be touched she is just something to be felt and held by men. The thought of her being held is portrayed by Victor using the possessive pronoun 'my' when discussing Elizabeth suggesting that women are viewed as things by men. Elizabeth is known as "a tie of local love my future partner" (Shelley 19) which is seen to be oppressive, reiterating the powerlessness of the feminine presence.
The powerless tone of the feminine is presented to the audience again through Justine, who's found guilty even though she expresses her own innocence at her trial. This shows the way the patriarchal system of the law is oppressing the female existence (Mellor 276). This is also a sociable criticism by Shelley of just how that the justice system of that time period was run as Justine is accused without being able to defend herself as she shows "extreme bafflement of manner" (Shelley 50). Justine's misunderstandings may be a way of showing how women were considered not to know about important social issues and exactly how men thought they would only become lost if responsibility were to be given to them. Having less female speech and just how females are likely to put the thoughts of men before their own are exhibited in Elizabeth's letter to Victor and it is mostly of the times in the novel she actually is given a voice. "Be happy my pal; and if you follow me in this one request, continue to be satisfied that nothing at all on earth will have the energy to interrupt my tranquility" (Shelley 130). But the reader benefits some insight into her emotions it is obvious to see how she actually is willing to give up her contentment for Victor's, even mentioning how she expects not to increase his miseries by being "an obstacle"(Shelley 130) to his hopes, showing the female presence as fragile and submissive to the prominent men, as she is very only looked at by Victor as a sister (Mellor 280).
The use of an unbiased feminine occurrence is a welcome alleviation for the audience from the home presences of Elizabeth and Caroline. The unique outsider adds secret as well to be a useful persona for story development as her benefits inspires the Creature to go into the De Lacey household, because they are welcoming of these who are different from themselves (Mellor 277). The Creature asks, "Could they switch off their door, one however monstrous, who solicited their compassion and friendship" (Shelley 88). As the narrative goes on however, it sometimes appears that the family does drive the Creature from their home. It can be observed that the female presence is exactly what leads both the Creature and Victor to their downfalls as the death of Elizabeth triggers Victor to get revenge, the Creature being influenced away as opposed to Safie triggers him to do something out of spite and flip away from being good.
The female creature is a existence that is only hinted to in the book as she never extends to completion, in ways maybe a female who dares to be different is damaged by the male influence. Here we see the partner for the Creature (who again shows the male dependence on a female occurrence for companionship) ruined by the hands of Victor exhibiting too little the feminine area of his persona through his rejection of both Creature and his female friend. Through Victor's rejection of the feminine creature before her completion, Shelley is hinting that the female voice is rejected and alienated in population. The Creature is by themselves and forgotten by society, which shows communal criticism of too little approval of otherness as the Creature represents fleeing the "barbarity of man" (Shelley 71). The usage of a female creature questions what trust a female has to be different in this oppressive world (Mellor 279). In this way Shelley is showing the reader what sort of female writers tone is pushed apart by the male dominance in literature and how any hope a woman might have to be different should be repressed to become what male modern culture deems appropriate or find herself ruined by her own ambition, including the devastation of the Creature's mate.
Shelley is also using the lack of feminine occurrence to great result; this sometimes appears through the way the Creature is established without a mother body. Victor places great importance on how "A new kinds would bless me as its originator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me" (Shelley 32). This shows that life is created by man and could be observed as Victor's overreaching into presumption. "No dad could promise the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs" (Shelley 32) presses out the necessity for the Creature to have a mother figure and thus, Victor has removed the need of the feminine existence (Mellor 274) However, the Creature, in his own narrative, instructs Victor how it was the drive of nature, also known as the 'mom, ' who increased him and trained him how to see the world around him. That is a way of putting importance on the need for a kid to truly have a mother figure to raise them. Shelley is demonstrating how a female has just as important a job that can be played in child rearing as well as in modern culture as a whole to guide the child on a moral way, which is not achieved by patriarchy by themselves.
The feminine presences in the book are of great significance to Shelley. They can be her way of conveying to the viewers her views on the way women are oppressed within her society. In addition they allow her to show interpersonal criticisms under a light veil so that with a larger understanding and knowledge the audience is able to determine the true interpretation of the inclusion of the feminine presences within the text.