What is the role of women in the novel and what do they symbolise? In this light, what may be the consequences of Victor’s attitude towards the Creature’s request of a female companion?

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor's attitude toward the monster's request to have Victor create a female dooms both him and the monster, not to mention his eventual wife, his brother, and his best friend. 

Victor very reluctantly agrees to create a female, but the first chance he gets he destroys what he's done up to that point.  This impulsive destruction dooms him to be haunted by the monster, and dooms the monster to a life of loneliness and revenge. 

Surprisingly, perhaps, Shelley, though her mother was an avid feminist, does not give any central roles to women in her novel.  Women are pedestalized.  They are represented as nurturers, comfort-givers, objects of worship.  They are beings to be idolized.  But they don't play any central roles. 

Similarly to so much other literature coming from patriarchal societies, the women in Shelley's Frankenstein are portrayed as victims.  They exist in the novel to show the hideous nature of the monster's actions, and the consequences of Victor's behavior.

mkcapen1 | Student

The role of women in the book Frankenstein is that of mother and companionship.  The creature makes mention that he has not been born of a woman and is alone in the world.  He has never known the affection of a woman's love.  This is an indicator that the love of woman is full filling and necessary.

The creature also longs for companionship.  Victor has experienced it with his Elizabeth but the creature craves it.  He wants it form Victor.  He tells him to create a companion for him.  Victor also recognizes that it may enable the creature to procreate which could be a disaster for mankind to have a race of the creature around.  He refuses to create a woman.

The creature is still alone and denied the opportunity for companionship.  However, had Victor created a woman for Victor there is no guarantee that the female would have been attracted to the creature.  She also may have rejected it.

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