The representation of male egoism in mary shelleys frankenstein

Nina Auerbach English 12 December In her novella "The Lifted Veil"George Eliot departed from her habitual realistic fiction style to explore a more Gothic held of prevision, telepathy, and revivication of the dead.

The representation of male egoism in mary shelleys frankenstein

Methuen,pp.

The father who neglects his children can be seen as the archetype of the irresponsible political leader who puts his own interests ahead of those of his fellow citizens.

By acquiring the ability to "bestow animation upon lifeless matter" and thus "renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption" 49Frankenstein in effect hopes to become God, the creator of life and the gratefully worshipped father of a new race of immortal beings.

In his attempt to transform human beings into deities by eliminating mortality, Victor Frankenstein is himself participating in the mythopoeic vision that inspired the first generation of Romantic poets and thinkers. William Blake had insisted that the human form could become divine through the exercise of mercy, pity, love, and imagination; Coleridge had stated that human perception or the primary imagination is an "echo of the Infinite I AM;" Wordsworth had argued that the "higher minds" of poets are "truly from the Deity;" while both Godwin and his disciple Percy Shelley had proclaimed that man was perfectible.

In their view, the right use of reason and imagination could annihilate not only social injustice and human evil but even, through participation in symbolic thinking or what Blake called the "divine analogy," the consciousness of human finitude and death itself.

In identifying Victor Frankenstein with PrometheusMary Shelley was alluding to both versions of the Prometheus myth: Prometheus plasticator and Prometheus pyrphoros. By the third century A. Even more directly, Goethe in both his verse drama Prometheus and his monologue "Bedecke deinen Himmel, Zeus" portrayed Prometheus as a self-portrait of the artist who has liberated himself from serving dull, idle gods and who rejoices instead in his own creative powers.

Mary Shelley specifically associated her modern Prometheus with the Romantic poets she knew personally. Manfred I, i, In England, Mary Shelley met another poet who became a close friend and associate of both Byron and the Shelleys, Leigh Huntwho intensified the identification of the Romantic poet with the Prometheus myth.

She perceived in Percy an intellectual hubris or belief in the supreme importance of mental abstractions that led him to be insensitive to the feelings of those who did not share his ideas and enthusiasms.

The Percy Shelley that Mary knew and loved lived in a world of abstract ideas; his actions were primarily motivated by theoretical principles, the quest for perfect beauty, love, freedom, goodness. This desire emerges in his poem " Alastor " as a wish to return to the gravelike womb of Mother Earth.

I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of lngolstadt.

Delighted and surprised, I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel.

Percy unwittingly revealed this incestuous desire during the troubled period after his expulsion from Oxford. His efforts to marry Elizabeth to his best friend Hogg can be seen as yet another attempt to close the sexual circle between himself and his sister.

But even as Mary Shelley modelled Victor Frankenstein upon Percy Shelley, she introduced into her novel an entirely flattering portrait of her beloved mate.

The representation of male egoism in mary shelleys frankenstein

Henry Clerval is both an alter-ego of Victor Frankenstein and the embodiment of all the qualities of Percy Shelley that Mary most loved. Clerval, in whom Victor Frankenstein recognizes "the image of my former self.

He is a poet. As a child he studied books of chivalry and romance and wrote fairy tales, plays, and verse. As Frankenstein eulogizes him, Clerval was a being formed in the "very poetry of nature.

His soul overflowed with ardent affections, and his friendship was of that devoted and wondrous nature that the worldly-minded teach us to look for only in the imagination. But even human sympathies were not sufficient to satisfy his eager mind.

The scenery of external nature, which others regard only with admiration, he loved with ardour: Clerval both embarks on "a voyage of discovery to the land of knowledge" and also immediately delays that voyage to nurse his sick friend back to health.

He thus combines intellectual curiosity with a capacity for nurturing others.

The representation of male egoism in mary shelleys frankenstein

Instead, he uses his powers of persuasion to convince his affectionate father to let him attend university.Like Mary, Percy identifies love with sensation, another's nerves vibrating sympathetically; and like Mary, who has Frankenstein's creature attempt to imitate "the pleasant songs of the birds" (Frankenstein, 77), Percy extends this form of love to all material beings.

Since Victor's procreation de- velops to become the murder of Victor's whole family, Mary Shelley “specifically por- trays the consequences of a social construction of gender that values the male above the female.”16 If women are omitted in the procreation .

Maness 4 Mary Shelley: Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus Perhaps because the "male milieu" is so oppressively dominant, Shelley's works promjriently dramatize the destructive power of the male ego. Since Victor's procreation de- velops to become the murder of Victor's whole family, Mary Shelley “specifically por- trays the consequences of a social construction of gender that values the male above the female.”16 If women are omitted in the procreation process, their sexuality is denied at the same time.

Mary Shelley uses Victor Frankenstein's lack of common sense as a device of showing her common sense.

Promethean Politics

Victor as a well-educated man is extremely interested in achieving scientific insights. Mary Shelley uses Victor Frankenstein's lack of common sense as a device of showing her common sense.

Victor as a well-educated man is extremely interested in achieving scientific insights.