The Inferiority of Women in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Essay

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The Inferiority of Women in Frankenstein, Romantic Times and Today In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the women are portrayed as inferior to men in several different ways. Of the few female characters in this book, very few of them are mentioned throughout the entire book and none of them are considered main characters. The ideals of Romanticism emphasize the secondary nature of women to men. In addition, Shelley’s portrayal of the inferiority of women parallels Romantic ideals and some of today’s values but also contrasts some values of today’s society. Shelley uses these Romantic ideals in Frankenstein because all of the female characters are clearly subordinate and secondary to the male characters throughout the story. …show more content…
Once Victor arrives, Walton has less of a need to speak with Margaret thus; Walton’s letters get shorter and less affectionate. Walton signs his first letter with, “Farewell, my dear, excellent Margaret. Heaven shower down blessings on you, and save me, that I may again and again testify my gratitude for all your love and kindness. Your affectionate brother, R. Walton” (Shelley 4). However, Walton did not even sign his last letter. The deterioration of Walton’s letters shows the expendable relationships men had with women. Furthermore, Shelley creates several orphans in her story, all of which were women. This shows the assumed helplessness of women. The first orphan is Caroline Beaufort. Once Caroline’s father passes away, she is alone and poor. She has no way of making any money since she was a woman. Mr. Frankenstein essentially saves Caroline from becoming a peasant by taking her in and eventually marrying her. Therefore, Caroline is forever indebted to Mr. Frankenstein, which proves the superiority of men. When Victory says, “This, to my mother… remembering what she had suffered, and how she had been relieved” (19) he expresses the hardship that Caroline had experienced before Mr. Frankenstein saved her. The next orphan is Elizabeth. She is adopted from a poor family by the Frankensteins because Caroline takes pity on her. If Elizabeth were not adopted, she would’ve lived a difficult due to

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