How is social inequality represented in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein and Kenneth Branagh's film Frankenstein?
Social inequality in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein and Kenneth Branagh's film Frankenstein are illustrated very differently. In the novel, the theme is apparent.
In Mary Shelley's novel, the women are relatively disregarded. Victor's mother, Caroline, dies off relatively quickly (of Scarlet Fever passed to her by Elizabeth). Justine is put to death for the murder of William (after her trial). Elizabeth, on the other hand, is mostly heard through her letters to Victor and Victor's narration of their wedding day. Essentially, the women in the novel do not possess the same importance as they do in the movie.
In Kenneth Branagh's adaptation, the movie begins with Elizabeth's voice. She plays a much larger role in the film (reading Victor's letters aloud, going to Ingolstadt to bring Victor home, and her murder is violently shown).
Justine's part in the movie is much more elaborate than in the novel. First, she has been raised, from birth, in the Frankenstein house. She is shown as being very jealous of the relationship between Victor and Elizabeth. Her death is not one which comes about from a trial; instead, she is thrown off of the top of a building with a noose around her neck by an angry mob.
In the end, the social inequality of women is far more noticeable in the novel than the movie. The novel is very focused upon Victor and his removal of himself from society. The film, on the other hand, intertwines the lives of the women in Victor's life throughout the adaptation. In the novel, the almost absence of the female role speaks to its social inequality.