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Frankenstein: Who Is the Female Monster?

Autor:   •  November 6, 2018  •  2,646 Words (11 Pages)  •  25 Views

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In addition to the argument previously stated, it has to be highlighted that Victor Frankenstein had more somewhat passionate links with men than with women. The way he sees Clerval is fairly interesting as when he describes his traits saying “the expressive eyes of Henry, languishing in death, the dark orbs nearly covered by the lids and the long black lashes that fringed them” (224) or when he calls Clerval his “friend and dearest companion” (226), it is really passionate and somehow erotic. In a like manner, even if it doesn’t come from Victor Frankenstein himself, the way Walton talks about Victor in his letters to Mrs. Saville (his sister) is a bit more ‘passionate’ and erotic than what have been seen with Clerval: “I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend.” (7). It goes a bit further than the erotic sensation we could have when Victor Frankenstein describes Clerval. Furthermore, even if it is not exactly the same and it cannot be called passionate, it is really intense the obsession Victor Frankenstein shows towards his monster once he starts killing. Although it is not only there where he shows an intense feeling towards his creature, it is clearly seen when he describe it as “beautiful” in the following fragment: “Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.” (58) This only show how delighted he was with the creation of such masculine creature, and also he also felt completely fulfilled for stealing the power of life from Nature. However, he is not delighted by a visual beauty but by the beauty of masculinity itself because it is also how grotesque are the looks of this monstrous creature. In addition, it could be said that it was not only an intense relationship; the one Victor Frankenstein has with his creature, but also a representation of admiration for the masculinity of men. Even though it is only three examples of intense relationships with men, taking the relationships he had with women, it is evident that they are not so intense, even with Elizabeth. He saw women as sexless and he could definitely love Elizabeth, but some of the passages from the text show that it is not exactly an erotic love, or nearly as erotic as the men mentioned before. He might be afraid of intercourse with women as it is been said, this shown in the novel when Elizabeth dies, he could have been there but she was sent to the room alone, perhaps it was because of this presumable fear: “I passed an hour in this state of mind, when suddenly I reflected how fearful the combat which I momentarily expected would be to my wife, and I earnestly entreated her to retire, resolving not to join her until I had obtained some knowledge as to the situation of my enemy” (241). He clearly shows more interest in the creature described as his “enemy” than in is wife.

This only shows the possibility of a homosexual Frankenstein and will support the idea of his desire of a world with no women and the female monster representing women in general. All these arguments take us to the point of this paper, the representation of women as the female monster, or the corpse of the monster-to-be, taking as proof from the text the following passage: “I thought with a sensation of madness on my promise of creating another like to him, and trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged.” (203). It is clear how crudely he says he destroyed the corpse, as if he was getting rid of it, in other terms he was getting rid of women destroying the corpse; indeed, he showed with this action that women are no longer necessary if life can be created without them. The picture of him tearing apart the corpse and the arguments previously discussed about his sexuality and desires, takes us to the point that the moment he destroys the female monster he is not giving a chance to a race of women more powerful and stronger than men raises. Therefore, indeed, we can say that the female monster is not an individual but the femininity in general; Nature sees Frankenstein as an enemy since, as explained before, he wants to take the power of life in his own hands, regardless how unnatural it’ll turn having his way of procreating, at the same time taking the important role of women in society of giving birth, even if Nature takes revenge, this is mainly the intentions of Victor Frankenstein with his actions. “Men” is what matters, “men” is enough, and that is, indeed, what his actions say. In the society where the story is developed, men are significantly more privileged than women, and his inner is desire is to keep it like at all costs; women can’t overpower men under any circumstances.

In conclusion, due to hard experience Mary Shelly had with life dragging death with her since she was born, and the influences on men around her (including her readings) she creates a protagonist that has an inner desire of a world only with men, or at least that women themselves don’t have such an important role as it is the one of giving birth. This is shown symbolically in the destruction of the female monster’s body representing women in general, and also the fight between Nature, seen as a Goddess, and Victor Frankenstein who wants to take the power of giving life in his hands, taking into account that he considers Nature a she. All this arguments also take us to the point where it could be believed that there is a homosexual connotation in Frankenstein’s desires and actions. Supporting this statement, the fact that the most significant and intense relationship he had was indeed with men, and in the case of Elizabeth, it was seen that he saw her sexless, and as a result she died because she was sent alone to the room in their wedding night. In sum, Victor Frankenstein was looking for a world where men had no need of having a woman, where they were capable of creating life themselves.


Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Planet eBook.

Moers, Ellen. "Female gothic." Gothic: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies (2004): 123-44.

Hodges, Devon. "Frankenstein and the Feminine Subversion of the Novel." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 2.2 (1983): 155-164.

Mellor, Anne K. "Possessing


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