great work you did, however, the instructor has some notes on the work.I want you to fix it as it needs, I’m gonna attach the word file you tyoed of the research and attach pictures which are the instructor’s notesafter you accept the bidAljahdali 1
English 102. 102
27 June 2016
The View of Women in “Frankenstein.”
Even though female exemplification in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein was limited, there
came a time in the early 1800’s where female novelists tried to make a stance in the patriarchal
societal structure that dominated (Lane 1). As it has always been, the society has always been
dominated by men with women becoming subjective to the dominant species. In other words, the
female species has been subjected to passiveness. They are only there to serve the men, and their
existence is only for the comfort of men. Mary’s novel depicts how life in the 17th century was
for women. The women were recognized as properties with minimal rights when compared with
the male (Weyand 2). Feministic critics would even argue that women were being treated as
second-class citizens. Women are insignificant not only in the fictional novel but also in the real
world. They have been known to be confined to house duties and taking care of the families
(Bunnell 1). Their voices in politics, religion, or even businesses were overstepped. They have
been silenced and having a few to speak of their oppression was rare.
Still, the few women representation are recognized as passive and disposable in serving
the utilitarian function. This was probably so since the rule was that women should conform to
what men said. Even in writing, Shelly is forced to be consistent with the norm by placing the
female characters as being submissive and passive to men. Safie, Justine, Agatha, Elizabeth, as
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well as Margret provide a channel for the male actors to act (Haddad n. Pg). Each of the Women
characters has specific purposes in the novel.
Women’s Role in Frankenstein
Justine’s character is passive with an occasionally vocal style. She is tossed between her
family and the Frankenstein’s until she eventually gets framed for the murder of William
Frankenstein. The frame makes her an inactive and docile character who is a victim of
circumstances. “God knows how entirely I am innocent. But I do not pretend that my
protestations should acquit me; I rest my innocence on a plain and simple explanation of the
facts…” (65). She tries to remain peaceful with her thoughts during the accusations and only
seeks solace in God. She does not even fight back the allegations as she knows that she would
lose. For that reason, it is apparent that her speech and calm actions display passivity. There is no
qualm that she would have fought for her rights if the society would not have been so insensible
towards women (Spark 1). From a different perspective, her character in the novel places her as a
victim of circumstances who is only there to be framed. If it were not for the death of William,
her character would have been not there. “But I have no power of explaining it…I am only left to
conjecture concerning the probabilities by which it might have been placed in my pocket” (66).
Once again, women are there because of men. There is no freedom for women in deciding what
they want. Everything that revolves around their lives is done at the will of men.
Agatha’s purpose is to show virtue and sensitivity; something that the monster has never
seen. The character moves the monster with her interaction with her blind father. Her docile
nature is to teach the monster about human relationships and love. Sadly so, this is another
character that is placed at the convenience of men. Those who did not understand the life of
women during that time would have easily mistaken Mary as being a female hater. All her
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female characters display a role that is of the service of men. In short, this means that if it had not
been for men, there would not have been female characters (Koretsky 241). And if they were to
be present, their roles would have been insignificant. Despite Agatha being gentle and kind, it is
unfortunate that she is there for the monster to learn acts of humility that portrays humanity.
What people fail to understand is that women are indeed important to the society, and men could
be powerless without them. Even if women are still being oppressed, their importance and role
towards men are important. It is for the blind to see and believe that women are inferior beings to
the society.
Safie’s tuitions become lessons to the monster as well. It was inconsequential to the novel
whether Safie learns English as long as the monster got influenced through the teachings (Lloyd
2). Her passive role is demonstrated through her character of being a means to his educational
end. Her role is very insignificant from the novel if it is not to teach the monster. Just as Agatha,
female characters have no significant meaning to the society that does not involve men.
However, at least in this case, women have been given the role of being educators. During the
1800’s, only the affluent were accorded the access to get a good education. Men’s dominance
prevented women from being educated and pushed them to do domestic chores.
Perhaps the most significant female character is Elizabeth, who is betrothed to
Frankenstein but still viewed as his possession. Women were forced to submissive to men.
Frankenstein sees her as his to love, cherish, and protect (Barron 2). She is a passive character in
her role of playing the victim in the game of insanity and the revenge. Additionally, Frankenstein
believes that any good deed and compliment Elizabeth gets is due to his efforts. “All praises
bestowed on her, I received as made to a possession of my own” 44. Amidst all this, Elizabeth
composes herself and acts docile around the husband (Mellor n. Pg). This shows that men are
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very dominant while women are obedient to their wish. In so doing, women have been raised
with the fact that they are second to men and have inferior rights and position in the society.
Worse still, their characters are determined by men who classify the manner and behavior
women should have. As such, they fall as passive individuals since they rights have been
deprived of them.
Elizabeth’s mother, Caroline also acts like a saint just like her daughter. Her loses her life
to save her daughter’s when she helps her from escape from scarlet fever (Mellor n. Pg). She is
not angry but instead, she dies with calmness in her spirit and expresses affection even in death.
Women are docile and affectionate while men are wild and angry. Frankenstein is extremely hottempered and dominated everything he came across. “My temper was sometimes violent, and my
passions vehement” 45. Despite their aggressive nature, they expect women to be docile and
patient in order to counteract their nature. Also, despite Elizabeth being betrothed to Victor
Frankenstein, she kept on a calmer attitude. Conversely, both her father and brother were violent.
However, this is not always the incident as women lose their voice and rights during their
encounters with men. Funny enough, only a few men could extend the same kind of appreciation
to women. Their ego echo superiority over women.
Margret is the most passive of all as she is used to an audience to whom Walton could tell
his story. We have never met the character even though we know of her existence. She is the
most distant but very crucial of all the female characters. The narration of the novel is done to an
audience that is also feminine (Kabunky n. Pg). Without her presence as an audience, the story
would not have been told. She is purposefully there for Walton to tell his story. In essence, she is
the most important character in the novel, yet she is considered to be docile and very passive.
Again, even the most important roles women are given still center on doing service to men. In
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the same way, the passivity of female characters in the novel is symbolic as it depicts the reality
of the real world.
Women have been so much undervalued by the society that they are even mistreated and
abused once they try to take a stand on their own ground rules (Mellor n. Pg). The above
characters are just but a few of those who have been represented as submissive and undervalued
subjects. Mary’s mother was an author who published books that fought for the rights of women.
As such, she was undermined and even abused. To the majority, she was the ill-pained monster
but to a few such as the husband, she was a hero to many.
The role and status of women in the society are affecting them on a personal level. Worse
still, they have restrained from working and getting professional careers since they have being
pushed to being housewives. This also comes with the thought that women are re less intelligent
and inferior to men (Li-Juan 10). This transcends down to them being considered as incapable of
writing with others thinking that they should not be allowed to write. A woman who has
attempted to join writing was believed to have intruded the very boundaries that men set.
Crossing the boundaries led to unfair treatment as Mary’s mother faced. In short, men were
crippling the power and capabilities women had in whatever way they knew how.
Even though the author of the novel is a female, the few female characters have
demeaning roles. None of the female characters serve important roles beneficial to themselves
but only to act as an impact in a man’s life. The female characters are demeaned, used, abused,
and then tossed away as if they had no usefulness (Weyand 3). Women have been made to be
suited within the confinement of the four walls of their homes. On the other hand, men’s role are
purposeful and respected in the society. They are given privileges to travel and explore the
world; something that women have been limited to do. Their aggressive nature is also accepted,
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and women are required to respect. Women have been excluded from the social order. This is not
only present in the novel but in the real world as well. Perhaps this was a way of Mary to break
the silence on the treatment of women in the society. Her fictional characters are believed to be
symbolic in depicting the actual societal order. The community is demonstrated as being of a
single gender that is of a masculine nature that enjoys privileges (Johnson, Barbara, Judith, and
Shoshana 5). In her novel, Frankenstein has removed all female biological roles and cultural
functions. Females are only there as survival tactics in creating a male-controlled society. The
truth is that the society has always valued men over women. This is strongly felt today where
men dominate the public spheres and women are left to manage the domestic. The men in the
novel are all civil servants with Victor himself being a scientist. On the other hand, women are
confined at home as seen with Elizabeth, who is not even allowed to accompany his husband.
At the end of the day, womanhood is forced to accept their roles of insubordination even
though they actively try to resist the discrimination in a bid to find their own happiness. The
male creature serves as a platform of airing the voiceless needs of the women. Others may argue
that even though Frankenstein is portraying male chauvinism, he is also afraid of interacting with
the society. He hides and keeps to himself as he faces the same problems as women (Neel 421).
Therefore, from a different angle, the monster could be a representation of the grievances women
face in the society. Both the monster and women are victims of circumstances. In fact, according
to Britton, the monster was created as a solace for Shelly since she considered herself as an
abandoned infant.
In other instances, the monster was created at a time of secularization; non-human
creatures served as a channel of expressing what humans felt (Wierzbowski, Emily, Patricia, and
Kir 3). In this case, Shelly felt the need to express her concerns about how women are treated in
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the society. Since women were not given the freedom of expression entirely, there was a need to
disguise her views through non-human figures to the naked eye. To the analytical eye, she was
expressing her concerns about the role of women in the society.
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Works Cited
“Feminism & Women In Frankenstein | Study.Com”. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 June 2016.
“Kabunky!: Frankenstein And The Depiction Of Women”. N.p., 2009.
Web. 22 June 2016.
“Mellor, “Usurping The Female.” N.p., 2016. Web. 22 June 2016.
“The Role of Women In Frankenstein – Everything2.Com.” N.p., 2002. Web.
22 June 2016.
“The Science Of Life And Death In Mary Shelley’S Frankenstein.” The British Library. N.p.,
2016. Web. 22 June 2016.
Barron, Brittany. ““For What Crime Was I Driven from Society?” Women in Mary Hays’s The
Victim of Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” (2015). Print.
Britton, Ronald. “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: what made the Monster monstrous?.” Journal of
Analytical Psychology 60.1 (2015): 1-11. Print.
Bunnell, Charlene. ‘All the World’s a Stage’: Dramatic Sensibility in Mary Shelley’s Novels.
Routledge, 2013. Print.
Haddad, Stephanie S. “Women As The Submissive Sex In Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein'”.
Student Pulse 2.01 (2010): n. pag. Web. 22 June 2016.
Haddad, Stephanie S. “Women As The Submissive Sex In Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein'”.
Student Pulse 2.01 (2010): n. pag. Web. 22 June 2016.
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Johnson, Barbara, Judith Butler, and Shoshana Felman. A life with Mary Shelley. Stanford
University Press, 2014. Print.
Koretsky, Deanna P. ““Unhallowed arts”: Frankenstein and the Poetics of Suicide.” European
Romantic Review 26.2 (2015): 241-260. Web.
Lane, Sarah Sydney. “The Bioscience-Industrial Complex, Radical Materialist Aesthetics, and
Interspecies Political Ecologies: The Unforeseen Posthuman Future in Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein and Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy.” (2015). Print.
Li-juan, W. U. “The Analysis of the Monster in Frankenstein from the Perspective of Subaltern
Studies.” Journal of Hefei University (Social Sciences) 4 (2014): 013. Print.
Lloyd, Andrea. “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Narcissus Subverted and the Death of Desire.”
Human: Journal of Literature & Culture 1 (2013). Print.
Neel, Alexandra. “Still Life in Frankenstein.” Novel 48.3 (2015): 421-445. Print.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein-With Audio. Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.
Spark, Muriel. Mary Shelley. Carcanet, 2013. Print.
Weyand, Laura. Mary Shelley, Women & Frankenstein. GRIN Verlag, 2014. Print.
Wierzbowski, Emily, Patricia Chu, and Kir Kuiken. “The Isolated Self: A Re-imaging of the
Individual in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell.”
(2014). Print.

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