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Mary Shelley: Submissive Women in Writing

In: English and Literature

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Mary Shelley: Submissive Women in Writing In the writing of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus, she creates four submissive female characters all of who are negatively affected by the hands of Victor Frankenstein. These four submissive female characters are Agatha, Safie, Elizabeth, and Justine. Each of these women is proposed as passive and nonessential. The women, Agatha, Safie, Elizabeth, and Justine, make a pathway for the creation of action for male characters. The actions that happen with/to these women negatively affect them for the purpose of teaching one of the male characters a lesson or inflicting deep emotions to the male characters. Agatha’s purpose to man in this book was teaching the monster. “The girl [Agatha] was young, and of gentle demeanour…she looked patient, yet sad.” (Shelley 75, 76). Agatha teaches the monster many things mostly by him observing her interactions with her blind father and studying her actions and mannerisms. “Agatha listened with respect, her eyes sometimes filled with tears, which she endeavored to wipe away unperceived”(Shelley 80). Agatha teaches the monster about respect, sensitivity, and human relationships. Safie, a close friend of the De Lacey’s, comes on horseback to the cottage. Safie is Arabian and doesn’t know or understand english, so the De Lacey’s give her lessons. Safie’s lessons in language and culture become the monster’s lessons as well. “My days were spent in close attention… I improved more rapidly than the Arabian… I comprehended and could imitate almost every word that was spoken… I also learned the science of letters”(Shelley 85). Safie is another passive female character that caused action by the monster. To the audience it is insignificant weather or not Safie learns english, but it is furthering the monster’s education. Thus it was for the sake of teaching a male character a…...

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