Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ann K. Mellor “Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein” College
Exclusively raising opposition to commonplace phenomena can only go as far as just that: talk of a new contrary, and usually unwanted, opinion. The crucial ingredient in making a significant impact with a foreign idea is to make a claim so inconspicuous, that a person with contrary views, perhaps, may alter his or her way of thinking -- but only if a belief in individual control of this process arises. Mary Shelley exercises this method in her novel Frankenstein in order to challenge an underlying idea in patriarchal societies. Common patriarchal beliefs posit that women must stay home where it’s safe, and that men must venture out into the unknown -- because, unlike women, they are deemed suitable for the unstable and unpredictable outside sphere. Shelley thus creates a fictitious story of an exaggerated patriarchal society that consequently leads to a dreadful end for each character. This is story where women have simply no purpose, men act as though their power is boundless, and nature’s functions are infiltrated. Anne K. Mellor, in her piece “Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein,” analyses the intricate ways Mary Shelley unobtrusively condemns Victor Frankenstein for his sexist views and actions. Victor,...
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