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Published: 11-12-2019

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein viewed from a feminist lens

Elizabeth Lavenza is a lady who is continuously commodified all through Shelley’s function. Elizabeth is objectified by Shelley as an object of Victor’s, because she is only ever discussed in terms of her significance to other individuals. To Victor, Elizabeth is “the lovely and adored companion of all [his] occupations and…pleasures” “mine, mine to shield, enjoy, and cherish…since till death she was to be mine only”(37). By no means inside the chapters is it discussed about how Elizabeth feels about exposed and forced to a new family members and home.

To Caroline Frankenstein, Elizabeth is “a fairly present for my Victor” (37). The objectification by Caroline Frankenstein is extremely telling, as Caroline is straight comparing Elizabeth to an object that is defined in and of itself as an object of worth for other folks. By way of this commodification Elizabeth, who is with no her own feelings is created into an object for the Frankensteins to revere and esteem over. Regardless of her objectification by the Frankensteins in the novel, she is really loving and caring towards everybody. Simply because of this really like and care that Elizabeth gives, the commodification that is brought upon her is partly her own fault. Elizabeth’s inability to defend herself in vital scenario leads Victor to constantly see her as a mere object for his own pleasure and nothing at all far more.

The female monster is a character that is commodified by the the societal reject known as the monster as an object that will make certain his euphoria and jubilation. Her complete existence is morphed into an object for the pleasure of the monster. The monster demands “you [Victor] have to generate a female for me, with whom I can reside in the interchange of those sympathies required for my being” (147). The way the monster describes her as “necessary for my being” is extremely telling towards the attitudes of the dominant male figures in society. Shelley uses these words to show the monster herself does not matter, only the companionship that she will give for the monster. She is also commodified as a bribe. A bribe in which the monster will abandon the violence and destruction he is causing in the globe of Victor Frankenstein, if Victor tends to make him a female.

Safie is a character who is commodified by Shelley as a token of negotiation not only by way of the concrete agreement in between Felix and Safie’s father, but also the abstract agreement of acceptance among the DeLacey loved ones and the monster. In the gothic novel, Safie is utilised by her father as a reward for his freedom from prison, but actually his freedom from the rejection of his European identity because he is casted out as an “other”. Safie’s father promises Felix “her hand in marriage so quickly as he should be conveyed to a spot of safety”(126). Safie is objectified as an object of bribery by way of her father’s reward of his underserved freedom and the loss of Safie’s deserved freedom. Similarly to Elizabeth, Shelley commodifies Safie as a treasure without ever distinguishing her opinion, consequently producing her a mere object of a man. Safie is also representative of what the monster desires but can not achieve simply because of the societal hierarchy.

This societal hierarchy in which only the females are commodified and the males who do not fit the Eurocentric character are casted out as “others”. The monster thus becomes socially casted out of society, and literally casted out of the DeLaceys residence. Through her commodification
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