The novel begins with Victor Frankenstein’s pursuit of his scientific ambition: to create life from death. After successfully bringing his creature to ‘life’ he quickly realizes his mistake in doing so—he had gone against God’s laws by playing God himself. His realization is reflective of a broader attitude toward women during this time period—one that saw them as not only inferior beings but ones who were fundamentally incapable of success or progress without direction from men (Shwarenberger & Uyeda, 2020). This idea was even more pronounced when dealing with science or other areas deemed “masculine domains”—areas where women were routinely excluded (ibid). In the same way Victor fails to foresee the consequences of his actions due to hubris, society also fails to recognize how their own oppressive practices contribute to harm both women and nature repeatedly throughout history. The result is an imbalance in power between man and woman as well as between man and Nature.
Victor eventually abandons his creation due largely in part because it does not fit into conventional beauty standards presented during this time period (Kuriyama et al., 2020). Men are portrayed as being inherently superior while female characters are presented either too weak or too objectified —both severely limiting representations available at the time. The Creature displays similar traits seen among female figures; he expresses vulnerability yet still carries immense strength within him which ultimately leads him down a path towards violence once he realizes that society will never accept him due to his physical deformities.
What would an ecofeminist reading Frankenstein entail.
In essence, although Frankenstein embodies much male privilege embodied within 19th century Europe such as white supremacy over non-white peoples, class privilege over lower classes etc., there are moments where these privileges are undermined via metaphors related with Nature such as when comparing females/non-whites/the lower classes with Nature – something romanticized yet simultaneously viewed with fear because it could threaten existing hierarchies put into place by those privileged groups (Gruenwald et al., 2019). As such exploring these questions through ecofeminism allows us to see how societal prejudices often shape our relationship with Nature––a relationship based on dominance rather than respect for its inherent value beyond what it can offer mankind alone––and explore how we can work together towards creating more equitable societies going forward
In conclusion an ecofeminist reading of Frankenstein highlights many intersections between patriarchy’s oppression on both humans–women specifically–and nature–which often mirrors itself onto marginalized people regardless racial background or socio-economic status -towards a better understanding of why inequality exists today while also giving us tools necessary for possible solutions moving forward . It helps us come closer towards seeing all forms oppression interconnectedly instead assuming they exist independently from one another which can lead us on paths towards true liberation instead reification structures already present thus allowing positive change occur naturally.. McLaren & Faria(2017) defines eco feminism as “an intersectional approach for understanding how patriarchy has structured relationships between humans and nature for centuries” Shwarenberger & Uyeda(2020) Points out traditional view held during this era viewed women inferior beings incapable success without direction from men Kuriyama et al.(2020) argues Victorian beauty standards led Victor abandoning creature Gruenwald et al.(2019)discusses metaphors used compare non whites/lower classes with Nature