The feminist reading of Frankenstein by the author Anne Mellor was frankly (pun intended), a desperate grasp. Mellor disparages the sciences in her text, being all too sympathetic with Mary Shelley’s murky understanding of the field. Mellor acknowledges that given the time period, sciences such as chemical physiology were not truly understood by the leading scientists, yet uses Shelley’s ignorance and perceptions as a launching point for her argument over the male dominated field.

it’s slightly ridiculous when you think about it, seeing as Shelley does not exactly have a good grasp on science in general. The fact that she even compares alchemy (an outdated practice even in the context of the book) to the modern sciences in the novel shows her lack of knowledge. This is also the same woman who supposes that the proper work environment for scientific experiments is hunched in a dusty attic over a candle, a fact that Mellor also agrees with. Yet she uses Shelley as her centrepiece in the critique of the men and science. She hones in on Victor Frankenstein as the embodiment of what’s wrong with science. She places great store in how this unstable character pushes the limits of science and attempts to dissect the inner workings of nature. Victor Frankenstein? The man who has fainting fits over passing shadows? Yet it is precisely this quality of being a man that Mellor attacks discreetly instead of any grounded dislike towards the sciences.

She raises one fair point over the rapidly advancing field, where she claims the products of science are a danger to their creators, as seen today through bombs and weaponry. This she says, has been symbolised through the Creature, a hideous creation with the potential to rain destruction down upon Victor. Also the fact that the Creature takes on a male identity doesn’t hurt her point either. In any case, while i agreed that the sciences were male dominated, I found Mellor to provide a weak argument over the fact that they were a result of the perpetuated male ego. This being due to the fact that Shelley’s perceptions were her main focal point, a biased and skewed viewpoint to begin with.

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