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Feminism in the Novel Frankenstein Essay

  • Submitted by: imurdanny112
  • on December 3, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,757 words

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Below is an essay on "Feminism in the Novel Frankenstein" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

What is feminism? Feminism is, simply put, the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. When one applies a feminist view to popular culture or literature, one is questioning and interpreting thoughts in society or in the text. Feminism can challenge oneself to live differently by questioning and confronting gender roles and stereotypes. Through Frankenstein, Mary Shelley proved that she asked these preceding questions of herself. When reading Frankenstein one is overcome by a male-controlled nineteenth century societal norm where men are part of the public area and women the domestic. In the novel Frankenstein, Men such as Victor Frankenstein and Walton seek quests in search of knowledge, happiness, personal fulfillment, and experience, whereas women are confined to the house and are kept outside of the male public sphere where intellectual activity is abundant.
“From a feminist perspective, the most significant dimension of the relationship between literature and science is the degree to which both enterprises are grounded on the use of metaphor and image. The explanatory models of science, like the plots of literary works, depend on linguistic structures which are shaped by metaphor and metonymy. The feminist reader is perhaps most sensitized to those symbolic structures which employ gender as a major variable or value. When Francis Bacon announced, "I am come in very truth leading to you Nature with all her children to bind her to your service and make her your slave,"1 he identified the pursuit of modern science with a form of sexual politics: the aggressive, virile male scientist legitimately captures and enslaves a passive, fertile female nature. Mary Shelley was one of the first to comprehend and illustrate the dangers inherent in the use of sexist metaphors in the seventeenth-century scientific revolution (Mellor 62).”
Mary Shelley herself grew up in such a male-identified society. It is thought that...

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