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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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Inflective and Forward Personalities In... Inflective and Forward Personalities In Chaim Potok's The Chosen, two contrasting characters are introduced"”Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders. They are opposites. While Reuven is forward"”speaking his mind, Danny Saunders shows a stark contrast"”an inflective soul, listening to silence, and growing from it. These characters set the stage for a lasting relationship to form, to be strengthened, and to be stressed. Danny's father's name is Reb Saunders. The tzaddik of a small community within close proximity of Reuven's home, he was born in Russia and later brought his congregation to America. When Danny is speaking to Reuven, he tells him the story of this occurrence. "They bribed their way though Russia, Austria, France, Belgium, and England. Five months later, they arrived in New York City." This was the original catalyst for the relationship between Reuven and Danny. If Reb hadn't brought his congregation to America, ever, Danny and Reuven would not have met in anything close to the same circumstances. When introducing the reader to the novel, Reuven explains why the inter-parish softball leagues were formed by the Jewish parochial schools after World War II. ""¦America's entry into the Second World War and the desire this bred on the part of some English teachers in the Jewish parochial schools to show the gentile world that yeshiva students were as physically fit, despite there long hours of study, as any other American student. They went about probing this by organizing the Jewish parochial schools in and around our area into competitive leagues, and once every two weeks the schools would compete against one another in a variety of sports." This was the second factor in the friendship. It would be unlikely for the matter of a soft-ball league to be considered on the part of Reb Saunders if he had not seen any particular reason. On Danny's second visit to the hospital, Danny and Reuven talk about matters of common interest. While on the topic of the baseball game, Reuven asks how he learned to hit a ball. "'I practiced,' he said. 'You don't know how many hours I spent learning how to field and hit a baseball.'" After this statement is avowed, Danny makes the comment to Reuven that he could have ducked the ball. Reuven responds with: "I remembered the fraction of a second when I had brought my glove up in front of my face. I could have jumped aside and avoided the ball completely. I hadn't thought to do that, though. I hadn't wanted Danny Saunders to make me look like Schwartzie." After Reuven initially wakes up, Danny visits him in the hospital to apologize. "'I am sorry,' he said quietly. 'I'll just bet you are,' I told him. He"¦turned and walked slowly away." After Reuven tells his father of the events, his father tells him that he should have listened. This response on David's part initially caused Reuven to listen to Danny when he returned the second time. "'You did a foolish thing, Reuven,' he told me sternly. 'You remember what the Talmud says. If a person comes to apologize for having hurt you, you must listen and forgive him.' 'I couldn't help it, abba.' 'You hate him so much you could say those things to him?' 'I'm sorry,' I said, feeling miserable." As with playing the "What If" game asking "what if" incessantly to explore each aspect of a situation, so did a chain of events occur that caused this relationship to form. The first act was not a "what if" but was the original occurrence. It was Danny's father, Reb, bringing his parish to New York. If he had not done so, Danny and Reuven would have no chance of meeting. The second event was the "Americanization" of the Jewish parochial schools after the Second World War. Again, if this had not happened, Danny would have had a slimmer chance of meeting Reuven, but since they lived in the same neighborhood and since Reuven's father knew Danny they may have met. The third occurrence was Danny's practicing. If Danny had not practiced, he, most likely, would not have hit the ball fiercely, straight at Reuven. The fourth occurrence was the actual scheduled game. If that game had not been scheduled, Reuven would not have been beaned with the ball by Danny. The fifth occurrence was Reuven's pride causing him to refuse to duck. If he had ducked and successfully missed the ball, he would not have gotten glass in his eye. The sixth occurrence was Danny's apologetic nature. If Danny had not been apologetic and visited him in the hospital, he would not have formally met Reuven. The seventh occurrence was Reuven's father's advice to listen to Danny. If Reuven's father had not instructed him to listen, Reuven could have remained angry and he may have not listened. Mixed with Reuven's father's advice, however, was Danny's persistence, if Danny had not returned, Reuven would not have had a chance to listen. There are many factors that countered into the strengthening of the relationship between Danny and Reuven. Going with the saying "opposites have a certain magnetism for each other"; we can state that Reuven and Danny are opposites in the matters of: religious sect of Judaism and the manner in which they were raised. Reuven was a Zionist and although Danny says that he wishes he could join the Zionist group at the university, he is a Hasid. Reuven and his father talk frequently, but Danny and his father only speak during Talmud discussions. Even though Danny and Reuven do oppose in those two matters, they are both intelligent and they both have a fancy for, basically, the same literature. Another strengthener of the relationship between Danny and Reuven is Reuven's father, David's, talk about a brilliant man named Solomon. Solomon compared to Danny because he wanted to learn and he read philosophy and other such books. Solomon learned German in order to read original texts and he wandered the world forever to finally die an early death. "'This boy, Reuven, was brilliant, literally a genius. His name was Solomon, and later in life he changed his long Polish name to Maimon"¦'" The point of the story was to reinforce the importance of the friendship cultivating between Danny and Reuven. The final factor in the strengthening of the relationship between Danny and Reuven is Danny's father, Reb's, approval of Reuven. When Reuven is invited to Danny's house, he is publicly asked which statement in a speech was incorrect. "'Nu, Reuven,' he said quietly, 'tell me, which one was not good?' 'One of the gematriyot was wrong,' I said"¦ 'And which one was it?' he asked me quietly. 'The gematriyot for 'prozdor' is five hundred and three, not five hundred and thirteen,' I answered. When he answers correctly, he gains the general respect of the audience and Reb, though Reb says later that he wouldn't mind if he answered incorrectly. The last part of the cycle of the comradeship between Danny and Reuven is the stress upon the relationship. Once more, many factors come into play with this part. To start with, David Malter's speech on Zionism causes Reb Saunders to "excommunicate" the Malter family. "My father's speech had done it. Reb Saunders didn't mind his son reading forbidden books, but never would he let his son be the friend of the son of a man who was advocating the establishment of a secular Jewish state run by Jewish goyim." This quote is Reuven's thought process after he finds out that he is no longer allowed to commune with Danny. The following stressor to the relationship between Reuven and Danny is Reuven's inability to understand "listening to silence". "'You have to want to listen to it, and then you can hear it. It has a strange, beautiful texture. It doesn"t always talk. Sometimes"”sometimes it cries, and you can hear the pain of the world in it. It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to.'" Over the course of the novel, Danny repeatedly explains and hints at the concept of "listening to silence". As Reuven shows multiple times that he doesn't understand Danny's "reverence", a bit of tension grows. The finally stressor on the relationship between Danny and Reuven is David's logically questioning Danny about his decision not to become a Rabbi. "'Then you must know exactly what you will tell him. Think carefully of what you will say. Think what your father's questions will be. Think what he will be most concerned about"¦'" When David persistently asks Danny questions as Danny half-answers, anxiety is created as the significance of the questions is revealed. All of these factors put stress on the relationship, initially, and in the end strengthened it. The first mentioned, was the difference between Danny and Reuven's religions. Although they were both Jewish, the novel shows that there were perceptible differences. The next mentioned was Reuven's inability to understand "listening to silence". Although Reuven may not have seen significance, Danny found silence to be very important, even related to wisdom. The final stressor mentioned was David's methodological questioning of Danny at the end of the novel. It created tension in an already stressful situation, although helpful. Danny and Reuven's friendship built throughout The Chosen had the roots to last a lifetime. It was apparent that Danny originally needed a friend and Reuven turned out to be the right one. Also, their fathers recognized this lasting friendship. So, each would most likely encourage it in the future.   

Inflective and Forward Personalities In Chaim Potok's The Chosen, two contrasting characters are introduced—Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders. They are opposites. While Reuven is forward—speaking his mind, Danny Saunders shows a stark contrast—an inflective soul, listening to silence, and growing from it. These characters set the stage for a...

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