For a literary piece to disseminate a crucial message, the author must depict cultural or historical circumstances regarding its composition. The reader must connect with the message. That aside, on Frankenstein novel, the First Chapter exhibits symbolism.
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The word monster as of the topic is symbolism in itself. As demonstrated by Kenneth Oppel in his book The dark endeavor, the young girl comes out of the beast. Ironically, she is beautiful. Besides, this follows a long battle between the creature and Victor Frankenstein alongside his brother. Saving the girl’s life is compared to protecting the whole town. Concerning gender roles, men are known for their protective function. At the same time, women are known for their traditional roles. The author further asserts that women are an emblem of the lost hope. I knew she did not have long to live (Oppel, p. 2). The society must learn to appreciate women.
Gender discrimination has no place in modern society. Just like men, women symbolize hope. Now, linking this to the novel, the beautiful girl in the introductory part of the book is the monster’s desired bride. Before his death, the beast asked the two brothers to share with him the bride (Oppel, p. 3). In this point of view, it is evident that women are regarded as the property of men. Elizabeth is the mother of the two identical twins, Victor Frankenstein and Konrad. However, Konrad has no respect for her mother. He is referring to her as a monster. Just like his brother, Frankenstein fails to respect his mother by ignoring her calls (Oppel. 5). Also, this projects a shocking image regarding the role of women at that time. Elizabeth as a mother symbolizes a unifying factor. And then it truly was a game, and from that moment the three of us were inseparable. (Oppel, p. 11).
Caroline is another female character portraying the role of women during that time. Immediately after the demise of her father, she has no hope of living. Characters like Wilhelm Frankenstein boast of riches. By all accounts, he was a brilliant man, and a very wealthy one (Oppel, p. 22). Caroline opts to get married to Alphonse Frankenstein as a second wife.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Lavenza as an orphan demonstrates that women stand a chance in a male-dominated society. Since childhood, she is not letting her cousin, Victor Frankenstein to look down on her. Also, she is an epitome for intelligence, something that is linked to men. Thank you, Elizabeth that was a good idea (Oppel, p. 18).
As a female author, Mary Shelley is supposed to act as women rights campaigner. However, from her tone, stereotyping as a vice seems to be prevailing. For instance, when describing Caroline’s state after the death of her father, she uses sympathetic words. She is using simile in her descriptions. It is fundamental to mention that a metaphor constitutes an integral stylistic device in a literary work. He came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl (Shelley, p. 13). As much as death brings sorrow, there is no need to cling on to the clutches of memories. Life must go on. Until today, it is evident that most fathers play a protective role, but this should be during their living moments. By such a narration, Shelley is implying that Caroline has no hope emanating from her father’s death. Moreover, from the critique above, Shelley is describing women as caring creatures. Caroline is caring for her sick father up to the point of his death.
As an orphan, Shelley’s description regarding Elizabeth Lavenza is insensitive. While on the trip to Milan, Elizabeth grew up with his foster parents. Shelley is mocking the whole situation, an action implying inhumane nature. Orphans should be subjected to care. Subjecting them to hard labor tend to disregard their identity. She continued with her foster parents and bloomed in their rude abode By such a sentiment, Shelley seems to be justifying the crude behavior of Elizabeth’s foster parents.
When my dearest aunt died, everyone was too busy to notice poor Justine. Justine is a young girl who is a servant. Frankenstein’s aunt adored her to the extent of schooling her. However, her death is occasioned with challenges posed in Justine’s life. Here, Shelley is using a direct account to describe a personal experience. She is straightforward in her narrations. Against all the odds, during the illness of Frankenstein’s illness, Justine took the initiative to attend to her. Now that she is dead, her pillar of hope is gone. Nobody admires associating with her.
It is crucial for gender equity to be embraced. Above all, members of a society should learn to love and care for one another. Efficiency in personality development is attained through the virtue love and caring. In her literary work, Shelley should have come up with concrete recommendations regarding the promotion of gender equity. Also, she should have effectively spread the message of love.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, et al. Frankenstein. Molino, 1966.
Oppel, Kenneth. This dark endeavor: the apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein. Simon and Schuster, 2012
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