Women's Role In Frankenstein

Words: 1849
Pages: 8

Has the role of females been the same throughout history? In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the roles of women are constantly changing. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein lives a comfortable life in Geneva with his family. He then decides that he wants to figure out how one lives life so creates a monster. However, Victor is horrified at the creature he created and he flees, leaving the creature uncared for. Although women in Frankenstein play a very minor role, they play a major role in the readers understanding of Victorian women. The women in Shelley’s novel range from housewives to servants, yet the way that they interact with societal expectations varies greatly. One woman, Justine, is a condemned murderer, yet the way that she is portrayed …show more content…
She also underlines the idea of women who cannot control themselves and let their feelings get in the way of their overall public appearance. Women who do not carry themselves well in public, like Elizabeth, are shown to be treated differently in the future, as opposed to someone like Catherine, who has maintained a constant public image. The idea of Justine’s trial also suggests a very patriarchal society, much like England at the time, because Justine was unable fight for herself so the men of the town made a decision for her. This shows that the role of women is smaller than that of a man because during the Victorian Era were thought of as inferior to men. Also, the fact that the men made a decision that was based on little evidence, and was later proved wrong, shows that woman do not need men to control them, yet at the time, that is what. Gilbert supports this when she says, “Shelley’s rewrite [of Paradise Lost] considerably compounds these tensions between self and other by encapsulating all of patriarchy’s schismatic hierarchies” (107). She is talking about how the English society affected the way in which Shelley portrayed women throughout the text from their different roles in the home to the way that they are treated by society. Due to these societal expectations, women like Elizabeth and Justine are unable to protect or defend themselves because that is a man’s job. Overall, Shelley shows that even though the role of women varies greatly between characters, the fact that women are inferior to men always shows