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Shelley began writing 'Frankenstein' in the company of what has been called 'her male coterie', including her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. It has been suggested that the influence of this group, and particularly that of Shelley and Byron, affected her portrayal of male characters in the novel. As Ann Campbell writes: '[The] characters and plot of Frankenstein reflect . . . Shelley's conflicted feelings about the masculine circle which surrounded her.' Certainly the male characters in 'Frankenstein' are more developed that those of the females. Elizabeth Fay has suggested that the female characters are 'idealised figures' in much of Shelley's work, particularly in the descriptions of Caroline and Elizabeth, the two mother figures in the novel. Caroline is, on surface value, a perfect parent, together with her husband, which renders Victor's irresponsibility in abandoning the creature more unforgivable. She 'possessed a mind of uncommon mould' which was also 'soft and benevolent'; she is compared to a 'fair exotic' flower which is sheltered by Alphonse; she drew 'inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow' on Victor, and her 'tender caresses' are some of his 'first recollections'. She is the idealised mother, a figure that Shelley viewed wistfully, as her own mother died when she was ten days old to be replaced by a disinterested stepmother. Caroline's parenting provides the care that Frankenstein might well have lacked, had he been left to his father alone "“ his father dismisses Agrippa's work without explanation, thereby setting Victor on his course towards 'destruction'. This is the first introduction of a theme that continues throughout the book, that of the necessity for female figures in parenting and in society. Without a mother figure and left only with Frankenstein who subsumes both parental roles, the creature's life is blighted by his imperfection and lack of companionship. However, Caroline is also the trigger to Alfonse's chivalry, thus presenting him in an improved light and allowing his character to develop at the expense of her own weakness. This is a feminist comment from Shelley, whose mother Mary Wollenstonecraft was a notorious feminist and an important influence. Justine, too, is an 'idealised figure', described during the trial as having a countenance which, 'always engaging, was rendered, by the solemnity of her feelings, exquisitely beautiful.' She is the archetypal innocent, being beautiful, weak and entirely accepting of her fate to the point of martyrdom. She would doubtless incense feminists now, accepting death with equanimity ' "I am resigned to the fate awaiting me" ' at the hands of misjudging and dominant men. She is a somewhat two-dimensional character, being compliant in all things, enduring the mistreatment by her mother and not objecting to the injustice of her condemnation. In this sense she serves merely as a plot device, used to introduce the evil of the creature and to show Frankenstein's cowardice in refusing to defend her in time. Here she is another feminine figure used to further a male character's development, just as Caroline was used to develop the character of Alfonse. She is also a vehicle for Shelley's attack on the contemporary judiciary system, which explains her name. The character of Safie is used by Shelley as a direct attack on sexism. Safie is a stronger character than the other women in the novel, as she defies her father in escaping to join Felix. Shelley comments upon the state of 'bondage' inflicted on females in Islamic society at the time, which Safie objects to, encouraged to 'aspire to the higher powers of intellect, and an independence of spirit' by her mother. Shelley, in applauding this determination and self-respect on the part of women, is condemning a society which oppresses females and upholds males as superior. However, Safie is not merely used for this; she is also presented as a contrast to the creature, who is similarly separated from the De Laceys by a language barrier, but who can never be accepted by them because he lacks her 'angelic beauty'. She is an example of man's intolerance towards ugliness, as her beauty transcends the barrier of language whereas the creature's benevolence cannot. Elizabeth is the most 'idealised figure' of all the women in the novel, afforded the following romantic description: 'The saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our peaceful home . . . her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us. She was the living spirit of love to soften and attract.' She is here made to transcend ordinary mortality to become 'celestial' and 'saintly'. This makes her death more appalling and triggers Victor's active fury, whereas the suffering of the innocent Justine did not. The base murder of 'the living spirit of love' can be said to be the creature's revenge against humankind, as the killing of something so natural and integral to humanity kills happiness with it. But whilst Elizabeth is assigned this pivotal role in the novel, she is in herself two-dimensional as a character, having no friends outside of the family and no interests save 'trifling occupations' within the household. She is content to wait for Victor, despite his long absences and frequent and serious depressions. She is the idealised woman at the time of the novel's setting, being submissive, supportive and beautiful. However, the character of Elizabeth can also serve a further purpose. It has been argued by several critics that Elizabeth is the creature's opposite, that she and he together make up Victor. She is his good half and the creature his bad. Both characters are orphans and heavily dependent on Victor. Elizabeth is beautiful, good and female, whereas the creature is ugly, evil and male. The blending of the two create Victor, who has robbed himself of gender by assuming both parental roles. It has been suggested by one critic that Victor has feminine characteristics, being 'sensitive, passionate about literature . . . and becom[ing] enamoured with [other men's] voice[s] and feelings'. This theory can be supported, in that Victor attributes to Elizabeth the ability to 'subdue [him] to a semblance of her own gentleness'. By contrast, the creature unfailingly enrages Victor, causing him to lose self-control and become violent. Whilst the feminine roles are flat and manipulated to affect the character and actions of the male roles, the latter are considerably more defined. As Elizabeth Fay writes, Shelley shows the 'realistic weaknesses and frailties' of men in the novel. Walton is presented as sexist and selfish, mocking his sister's fears for his safety in his opening sentence: 'You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.' Margaret is an unsatisfactory audience, as he desires a companion 'whose eyes would reply to [his]'. This companion must necessarily be male, for how could a female possibly communicate adequately with him? However, despite this wish for male companionship, Walton possesses certain feminine characteristics, such as his distaste for violence: ' . . . my best years [having been] spent under your gentle and feminine fosterage, has so refined the groundwork of my character that I cannot overcome an intense distaste to the usual brutality exercised on board ship'. He writes adoringly of 'the stranger's' 'conciliating and gentle' manners, 'unparalleled eloquence', nobility and 'cultivated' mind. Walton's ambition to discover 'uncharted territories' is arrogant, as he desires to acquire 'dominion . . . over the elemental foes of our race'. He craves idolatry and power. Shelley introduces this here so that Walton's later failure towards the close of the novel is celebrated by the reader, who has understood that Victor's arrogance has caused devastation, whereas Walton has paid little heed and is bitter in his failure. Shelley is commenting on the stupidity of male hubris, which she 'sensed in the scientific ambitions of Romantics such as her husband,' as the critic James W. Maerten has suggested. Maerten writes also of Anthony Easthope, who has drawn: 'a circular fortress as a model of the . . . masculine ego. Ego . . . is entrapped in its own defences, unable to escape the barriers it has raised against a universe [which is] an enemy . . . The most praised . . . in our civilisation are those who can contain and control the most monstrous powers: biological pathogens, nuclear fission, toxic waste, vast armies. Such Promethean desires are ultimately the illusions of Icarus.' Victor's ego causes him to desire 'a new species' which would 'bless [him] as its creator and source'. He cannot control the monster that he creates, thereby losing his essential masculinity. His attempt to defy Nature and steal God's power for himself is as fatal as Icarus' stupidity in trying to do what man cannot. This male arrogance is introduced by Alphonse, who assumes the care of Caroline and renders her submissive in gratitude. The blatancy of the strong male and weak female roles here has been condemned by some, who suggest that the imposition of a male role on Victor is a form of filicide. This is responsible for his insecurity which in turn leads to his 'overreaching ego inflation'. A critic has argued that: 'Victor Frankenstein is compulsively self-destructive, driven by forces he cannot recognise to create a son by his own efforts and without the troublesome involvement of a woman . . . [upon which] he is horrified . . . and rejects the creature totally, thereby turning the son into the very monster whose existence he has always denied in himself.' It is possible to corroborate this view to some extent, as Victor's feminine qualities conflict with his identity as a man. Shelley was concerned with the issue of gender, as in her novel 'The Last Man' she created an essentially genderless character, Lionel Verney, and discussed how he only acknowledged his gender when he viewed himself in a mirror. His reflection told him that he was an English gentleman, but without this empirical perception he had no such identity. Elizabeth Fay writes of him that he is a 'feminised ideal', 'combining masculine and feminine traits in such a way as to confute traditional notions of gender'. Robert W. Anderson writes that: 'Frankenstein's creature embodies gender transgression on two levels . . . the first being [his] status as being a surgically constructed male, the second being Victor's non-gender transgression in co-opting the female trait of reproduction, transforming his laboratory into a virtual womb.' The creature has no real gender, despite being created physically as a male. He is denied male dominance over females by Victor, who has made him too ugly to be accepted into human society and then destroys the female mate that he had partially made for him. The creature, like Victor, has feminine characteristics, being profoundly affected by literature and nature, and being sensitive to emotion. He is made male only so that there can be no sexual overtones in the relationship between himself and Victor, and the battle between them can be physical and violent as well as rhetorical. The absence of femininity in the making of the creature is its integral flaw. Despite all of Victor's efforts to make the creature perfect, it will ultimately be ugly, because it is unnatural for a male alone to reproduce. Beauty cannot result of only masculinity. Shelley is condemning a single father in this. The death of her mother left her to the care of her father, whom she adored. He often neglected her, leaving her feeling unwanted. The lack of grief on the part of her husband as their babies died augmented this conviction in men's inability to care for children alone. This reinforces her message throughout the novel of the necessity for women in society. Shelley was forced to ask her husband to claim to be the author of the novel, as women were not accepted as writers at the time. Men alone in science and education are fallible, as she suggested in making Frankenstein's experiment so disastrous. Therefore the oppression of women at the time was irrational and arrogant. Frankenstein represents flawed masculinity, as an example of a society without women. Shelley manipulated masculine and feminine gender identities in her novel to try and persuade her audience that men alone cannot create, whether it be children or art.
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Shelley began writing 'Frankenstein' in the company of what has been called 'her male coterie', including her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. It has been suggested that the influence of this group, and particularly that of Shelley and Byron, affected her portrayal of male characters in the novel. As Ann Campbell writes: '[The] characters and plot of Frankenstein reflect . . . Shelley's conflicted feelings about the masculine circle which surrounded her.' Certainly the male characters in 'Frankenstein' are more developed that those of the females. Elizabeth Fay has suggested that the female...
necessity for women in society. Shelley was forced to ask her husband to claim to be the author of the novel, as women were not accepted as writers at the time. Men alone in science and education are fallible, as she suggested in making Frankenstein's experiment so disastrous.

Therefore the oppression of women at the time was irrational and arrogant. Frankenstein represents flawed masculinity, as an example of a society without women. Shelley manipulated masculine and feminine gender identities in her novel to try and persuade her audience that men alone cannot create, whether it be children or art.

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"A Fatal Utopia" "Two ways of..."A Fatal Utopia" "Two ways of exercising power over men, of controlling their relations, of separating out their dangerous mixtures. The plague stricken town, transversed throughout with hierarchy, surveillance, observation, writing; the town immobilized by the functioning of an extensive power that bears in a distinct way over all individual bodies-this is the utopia of the perfectly governed city" Page 6 Michel Foucault This quote extracted from the Essay Panopticism written by Michel Foucault perfectly describes in detail the controls put on the citizens of Big Brother's Oceania in George Orwell's 1984. Through control of relation, surveillance, and separating out their dangerous mixtures Big Brother obtains a government system, which is described by Foucault as a "Utopia." The Utopia relies upon more than one method of control as noted by Foucault, but the far most significant method is surveillance. "The telescreen received and transmittes simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, about the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, as long he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque was commanded, he could be seen as well as heard" Page 6 Orwell. In Orwell's 1984 the surveillance is achieved by the distressing, constant presence of the telescreen. No individual was free of the thought that the vigilant telescreen would catch you in some undefiable act, which would lead to unquestionable Purnell 2 vaporization. "This enclosed, segmented space, observed at every point, in which the individuals are inserted in a fixed place, in which the slightest movements are supervised, in which all events are recorded"¦" Page 5 Foucault The panopticon in Foucault essay is stressing exactly the same purpose as that of the telescreen in Orwell's 1984. Simply that constant threat of punishment , but only if caught and in order to remain safe you must constantly behave as the ideal you are desired to be. To have the threat of being watched present, but not knowing whether or not in actuality you are being watched is what leads you to become that ideal member of the Utopia which in essence is exactly what the government wants. The effect of the telescreen was simply complete control over Winston's every move, thought, and word that came from his mouth. You watch as he lived in life in fear of the Party, in fear of the Thought Police stripping him of the little that he does have. His mind was racing full of thoughts he couldn't speak. His heart burned with hatred and anger for the party, which he couldn't act upon. You can see by the party watching him they suppressed what he said, and did all by posing that tiny threat of being under watch. The very same threat of being watched constantly can make ones stomach turn but to know that there is an outside force slowly integrating its way into your life can be just as nerve racking. "Thus the Christian school must not simply train docile children; it must also make it possible to supervise the parents, to gain information as to their way of life, their resources, their piety, and their morals." Page 18 Foucault To truly understand someone you must not only know the individual, but those associated with that individual. By knowing and understanding the lifestyle that this person chooses to Purnell 3 live you have gained more control than you can ever imagine. You have identified every thing that has and will take place within that person's life. You are now a part of their life due to your relations with those in their own lives. Foucault stresses the role of the parent in the lives of the child, and in 1984 you find it ironically twisted into the role of the children in the lives of the parent You watch as children are fed thoughts, absorb them, and with a young mind those thoughts are clenched tight. To them its simple there is one way, and it is the right way and anything other than that is wrong and you deserved the proper punishment. . "They kept on his tail for two hours, right through the woods, and then, when they got into Amersham, handed him over to the patrols." Page 50 Orwell Children punished the adults in the world of 1984, adults punish children in Foucault but either way by controlling family relations you gain inclusive control. That inclusive control is also gained by having the children punishing their elders which makes them some of the most dangerous members of society. Like the watchful eyes of the telescreen the children spy upon your every movement, looking for one slight transgression so they can remove one more defiant member of society. As the little girl followed around the man through the woods you saw the great lengths that these children go to in order to keep the land free of the supposed filth, and to Winston you know it isn't to surprising. He listened to Parsons tell the story and didn't feel anger or animosity towards the children but got that feeling of uneasiness which is what their purpose is. They are simply another threat in Big Brothers society and watch little threat is what gives him power. Purnell 4 Of these threats comes one, which is the most evident and understood. "The investigation as an authorization search for truth observed or attested was this opposed to the old procedures of the oath, the ordeal, the judicial duel, the judgment of God, or even of the transaction between private individuals." Page 29 Foucault This quote by Foucault is describing the fact that although certain acts are out of compassion, or whether it is moral obligation there is still a crime committed. A crime committed is punishment no matter what the incentive was which led to the action. In 1984 there is the Brotherhood. These are members of the population on Oceania who fight for their freedom. These people want to be heard, want to have equality, want to fight to vanquish the dictatorship imposed upon them by the powerful Big Brother. Morally what there are doing is admirable but in Oceania it is nothing but pure crime and defiance of the power inflicted upon them by Big Brother. These were people who wanted to help the world as a whole ready at moments notice to do anything to abolish Big Brother and what he stood for ready to , "cheat, to forge, to blackmail, to corrupt the minds of children, to distribute habit forming drugs,"¦.." Page 142 Orwell To have punishment for crimes no matter what the motive behind it was basically controlled Winston's life in Oceania. He wanted to speak out and tell the world his thoughts. He wanted to tell people how corrupt Oceania indeed was, but he couldn't. He couldn't because he had punishment staring him the face. He knew no matter what he would say, confess, or do in defense he would still be another political rebel silenced by death. He knew that political rebellion was the utmost defiant act upon the government Purnell 5 and all his life held it within afraid of its consequences. However as he got older those consequences entered his life. He knew he was getting involved in an organization, which had no end but death and took that choice. Whether or not his peace of mind was satisfying enough to put an end to his burning hatred within you will not know, because he was silenced as he knew he would be before his ideas were heard. Big Brothers cleverly organized, and cynical government silenced Winston's ideas. He used the methods of control presented to you in Michel Foucault's essay Panopticism, which are: surveillance, control of relations, and separating out their dangerous mixtures. The telescreen's presence altered Winston's way of life. Control of relations changed Winston's outlook on the people in his life. Separating the dangerous mixtures is what killed him. He joined a mixture which was separated, separated by killing him. The ironic similarities within the two works are mind boggling and intriguing, but the truth in it all is what is truly remarkable.   

"A Fatal Utopia" "Two ways of exercising power over men, of controlling their relations, of separating out their dangerous mixtures. The plague stricken town, transversed throughout with hierarchy, surveillance, observation, writing; the town immobilized by the functioning of an extensive power that bears in a distinct way over all individual...

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