The Objectification of Safie in Frankenstein 12th Grade

Over time, the presence of patriarchal ideologies in the Western world has lessened drastically. Yet in the past, women have lived in brutal societal conditions that most people, especially men, cannot imagine. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the patriarchal society and its ideals are the reasoning behind many characters’ behavior. The daughter of a Turkish merchant unknowingly becomes involved in what is a commensalism-type relationship with Frankenstein’s monstrous creature. The monster takes advantage of Safie’s stereotypically passive nature by using her as a method of learning the De Lacey family’s language. However, academics are not the only thing he learns from the foreign woman, Safie and Felix’s close relationship forces the monster to recognize unforeseen emotions over his neglect. During Safie’s stay at the cottage, the monster continuously refers to her as “The Arabian,” and emphasizes her appearance showing that he views her as an object. Frankenstein’s monster objectifies Safie in order to further his academics, and advances his emotional intelligence along the way.

Language, institutions, and social power structures have reflected patriarchal interests throughout history, which results in a profound impact on...

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