The Monstrosity of the Destruction of the Females in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein

Awadallah, Wiam
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Al-Quds University, Deanship of Scientific Research
This research examines the real monstrosity in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. My argument is that the true monstrosity in the novel is the destruction of the females that results, as Julia Kristeva says in her theory of abjection, from fear and disgust of women’s bodies. I will use major pieces of textual evidence from the novel and analyze them through Kristeva’s idea of abjection to show how monstrosity is constructed in the novel. First, I show that monstrosity is evident, as Kristeva says, in the fragility of law. This can be seen in how Victor Frankenstein is exonerated of his crimes that led to the destruction of Justine and the female monster because of the unfair and biased judicial institutions. In contrast, Justine is accused and punished for a crime that she did not commit. Second, monstrosity is also evident in Victor’s denial of the significance of the maternal. This can be seen in his creation of the female monster without the need of a woman, his comparison between his creation and females’ labor, and the symbolic destruction of the female monster’s placenta. The latter in turn indicates that he wants to prove that the mother’s absence is not a big deal.