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Blame it on Gender Roles

An exploration of how gender roles in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein influenced the actions of Victor Frankenstein and led to his subsequent downfall.
by

Monique Sereneo

on 10 September 2014

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Transcript of Blame it on Gender Roles






The Effect of
Gender Roles
on the Actions of Victor Frankenstein

What are Gender Roles?
Blame it on

Gender Roles!

Socially assigned roles traditionally associated with each sex within a culture. (Concise Oxford Dictionary)
Victor's Childhood Factors
Alphonse Frankenstein
Caroline Beaufort
Treatment of Victor
"He came in
like a protective spirit

to the girl, who
committed herself to his care" (Shelley, 34
)
"There was a
sense of justice
in my father's
upright mind
, which rendered it
necessary
that he should approve highly to love strongly" (Shelley 34)
Diction and Simile
Establish
Male Gender Roles
Object
"He strove to
shelter her
,
as a
fair exotic
is sheltered by

the
gardener
,
from every
rougher wind"
(Shelley, 35)
Obligations
"'The
expectation
will now be the consolation of your father. Elizabeth, my love, you must
supply my place
to the younger children" (Shelley, 44)
Symbolism and Point of View
Establish
Female Gender Roles
"Guardian"
"Responsibility to Duties"
"I was their
plaything and their idol,
and something better - their child, their
innocent
and
helpless creature

bestowed on them by Heaven
... they
fulfilled their duties
to me" (Shelley, 35)
"I was so guided by a
silken cord
"
(Shelley 35)
Guardian
Protector
Responsibility to Duties
Be protected
Objectified
Raise Children


Effect on Victor's Actions
the Monster's Request
Elizabeth's Murder
Monster is Born
Secret to Life Discovered
Fulfilling his Duties
"but I felt that there was some
justice
in his argument ... did I not as his maker,
owe him
all the portion of happiness that it was
in

my power to bestow
?" (Shelley 148)
Protector
"Why am I here to relate the destruction of the
best hope
, and the
purest
creature
on earth? She was there,
lifeless and inanimate"
(Shelley 199)
Guardian
"A new species would

bless me

as its
creator and source
; many happy and excellent natures would
owe their being to me
. No father could
claim the gratitude
of his child so completely as
I should deserve
theirs. (Shelley 55)
Raising Children
"I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I created, I rushed out of the room" (Shelley 58)
Gender Roles Established
Why, Shelley?
Fulfilled Duties
Breaking Free
Full transcript