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Important Note If youd like to save a copy of the paper on your computer you can COPY and PASTE it into your word processor Please follow these steps to do that in Windows 1 Select the text of the paper with the mouse and press CtrlC 2 Open your word processor and press CtrlV Feminist Reading of Frankenstein When reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley one cannot help but notice that the women characters seem to have little substance compared to the male characters This may have been caused by the time period in which she wrote one in which females were considered inferior to males This difference between the sexes can be looked at using a variety of different perspectives Johanna M Smith a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington discusses this issue using feminist eyes in her essay entitled Cooped up Feminine Domesticity in Frankenstein The main points in Professor Smiths essay are that the female characters are there only to reflect the male characters and that the Frankenstein family has a weird style of living which she describes as a bookkeeping mentality Smith 279 Smith begins her essay by looking at the historical factors that may have contributed to this seemingly sexist book Shelley writing in the first half of the 19th Century was in a period in which a woman was conditioned to think she needed a mans help Smith 275 In the novel itself no women speak directly The book has three basic narrators Robert Walton Victor Frankenstein and Frankensteins monster The female characters are very weak in this novel especially Elizabeth Victors cousinfianc no they arent from Arkansas She is portrayed as the perfect woman especially after Victors mother Caroline dies She takes the place of the mother figure in the household But just like all the female characters in the story her character has little substance
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