Frankenstein and the role of women

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  • Created by: Elli.H
  • Created on: 17-05-18 19:25
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  • The Role of Women in Frankenstein
    • Context
      • Shelley's mother was Mary WollstoneCraft
        • A Vindication of the Right of Women
      • When married women were the legal property of their husband
      • Women could not testify in court
      • Women could not vote
      • Women were considered incapable of rational thought
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        • Shelley disproves this  and begins to challenge it.
          • At Justine's trial
            • “I commit my cause to the justice of my judges, yet I see no room for hope. I beg permission to have a few witnesses examined concerning my character, and if their testimony shall not overweigh my supposed guilt, I must be condemned, although I would pledge my salvation on my innocence.”
              • Shelley's way of showing how articulate women could be
                • Safie was encouraged to challenge the treatment of women by her mother
                  • '' She instructed her daughter in the tenets of her religion and taught her to aspire to higher powers of intellect and an independence of spirit forbidden to the female followers of Muhammad''
                  • high level of intellect
                    • ''Safie resolved in her own mind the plan of conduct that it would become her to pursue in this emergency''
                  • Shelley uses her as a model for how all women should be treated
            • Both Elizabeth and Justine present systematic  and rational lines of argument
              • Women were not even allowed to testify in court
      • Many female writers published their works anonymously
        • their work was not taken seriously
    • Heavy male plot makes it difficult for feminist interpretations
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    • Women are referred to by their appearance
      • ''extremely pretty''; ''the pretty Miss Mansfield''; ''a lively, pretty Frenchwoman''
        • All quotes from Elizabeth
      • Men are never referred to as ''handsome'' and are defined through their intellect
        • '' unparalleled eloquence''
      • This shows the objectification of women which sees them as little more than objects of physical desire
      • Even when Justine is about to be punished
        • ''The appearance of Justine was calm. She was dressed in mourning, and her countenance, always engaging, was rendered, by the solemnity of her feelings, exquisitely beautiful''

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