Frankenstein

Gender Roles in Frankenstein College

During the 1800’s, when Mary Shelley first began to write, she struggled to show her husband Percy that she was in charge of herself and her artistry. Shelley describes Percy as constantly being anxious about her having to prove herself and find fame (Knudson 11). Percy believed that he was a better writer than his wife and therefore thought that he could control her and her writing. Mary fought as long as she could but eventually, she “surrendered herself to the ideal of the proper lady, devoted to her family at the cost of own identity and aspirations, when she claimed that literary reputation, which she had once desired, was now ‘infinitely indifferent’ to her since family had become her main concern” (Knudson 11). Having fought the vicious battle for her own rights, Shelley put her emotions and heartache into her novel Frankenstein, showing the dangers of gender roles in society at the time. Shelley’s character Frankenstein holds many feminine features that blur the definition of gender. She also creates a “monster” that has some of the same characteristics as women, and shows the oppression that women had to go through by making her female characters in her novel seemingly invisible. Through the subtle traits of her...

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