Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blog 2 Prompt 1 a.

Blog #2 Prompt 1a

I find the question of Shelley writing from a woman’s perspective really interesting because all of her narrators are men with the exception of the ghostly sister “Margaret” who the sea captain is writing to. Because we don’t know what angle this is all coming from that makes the narrator confusing and almost androgynous. It is clear from the discussion we had in class last Thursday that there are some underlying homosexual currents and I think this has just as much to do with Shelley being a woman as it does with the character of the captain. On page 171 he talks about his aversion to marrying Elizabeth. ‘Alas! to me the idea to me of an immediate union with my Elizabeth was one of horror and dismay. He also talks about his promise to his mother. Shelley being what we can assume as a heterosexual woman would indeed find the idea of marrying a woman repulsive and therefore we see her main character exhibit this aversion as well. He puts off this union by deciding to take this trip with Clerval, a male companion. Upon his return he is to marry Elizabeth, a reunion which never happens.

Had Shelley been writing a female character from her perspective it is most likely that this departure would be one of tearful sorrow and a reunion would be a joyful thing not something to be dismayed about.

Later we see Shelley say, on page 173 that Frankenstein is looking forward to his reunion so he may forget his past. Shelley’s upbringing would have been conducive to the idea of being different. Wriitng from a male perspective may have even been encouraged because it would promote the feminist agenda, but it seems to me that despite a good intention Shelley just ended up writing a more homoerotic piece than she was intending. She allowed her more traditionally female writing and feelings shine through in Frankenstein and it ended up being less about Frankenstein and his God-complex and more about this odd relationship between Elizabeth, a woman who is like a sister, Frankenstein who does not want to marry her, and his odd relationship with The Captain.

1 comment:

Adam said...

As you mentioned to me, this is a little rushed, so I won't go through the details of how it's rushed and problematic as such. Instead, I'll focus on the things which were of most interest.

First, the claim that the voice of the narrator is androgynous is interesting. I don't know what I think of that claim, and I'm not really clear yet what you mean by it - but I will admit that you caught my attention. and have my interest.

You claim that Shelley may have made a more homoerotic manuscript than she intended; I think you're claiming, in part, that doing so in some way indirectly damages her work as a feminist. Again, this is an interesting claim, but one that I don't really follow yet - but if it's something that you would be interested in articulating and defending, I'd sure be interested in reading it.