Frankenstein – the role of Safie in the novel

Written in 1816, when the author M.Shelley was simply nineteen her novel “Frankenstein”, a Sui Generis dramatized the potential of life begotten upon a lab table. M.

Shelley combines many types of writing- the narrative, the journal, the letter novel, the picaresque to produce styles as romantic myth making, the gothic project, contemprory history and politics and the discourse of gender.

In the unique, one likewise witnesses 2 families working on opposite set of ideologies. On the one hand, where Frankenstein’s family represents vision pattern of political inequality and injustice, the De Lacey family represents vision of a social group based upon justice, equality and shared affection. The structure of De lacey’s family constitutes M.Shelley’s suitable, a perfect originated from her mom’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”. Infact, it is the character of Safie, the precious of Felix De Lacey which best exemplifies to it which will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Safie, the child of the Turkish merchant is appalled by her dad’s betrayal of Felix and by the Islamic oppression of women he backs. Therefore, she decides to escape from the clutches of her dad and flees from Turkey to Switzerland, looking for Felix. This incidence offers a sense of M.shelley’s oblique reference of looking at Turkey within the dimensions of the “east”. Additionally, when the readers are very first introduced to Safie, the description of her as a “woman worn a dark match covered with a thick black veil” makes one knowledgeable about a culture extremely different from the west. It is for this that critic Kornisaruk goes to the extent of calling Safie as being “oriental”. For this reason, echoing Edward Said’s theory of the orientalism as now one witness’s construction of Safie as the “Other”.

M.shelley at the same time is quick to move her position of Turkey-the east, developed in reader’s mind as a location which culturally inhabits a lower place in hierarchy. This is due to the fact that she now portrays the item of east-Safie in a positive light. This is evidenced by regular parallels of Safie with Eve of Paradise Lost who is chaste, pure. Also, the author knowingly decides to choose the name Safie indicating “wisdom” which is symbolic in itself. Safie’s desire to acquaint herself with the language which becomes a mean to break the cultural barrier justifies to her attribute of wisdom. It also exposes her as a person who is class conscience as she wants to be combined within the upper strata of the society.

Furthermore, Safie emerges as the only independent well educated, self supported, wisdom imbibed woman in the novel. By doing so, the author not just questions the position of females in the 19th century but likewise brings into focus her rejection of east as an apparently hierarchically inferior place as talked about previously. It is since of her alternative role model identity that well renouned critic Rubinstein decides to call her “discreetly androgynous” integrating the basic womanly “angelic charm” with a manly energy.

Yet, the author chooses the disappearance of Safie and De Lacey’s family providing little participation in the plot. Thus, developing that such characters had no or little place in the extreme world of 19th century Europe experienced by M.Shelley. For that reason, justifying the novel as a practical fiction. Lastly, one can conclude, it is from her own mom that Safie finds out “to desire higher powers of intellect and an independence of spirit”. So, flouting her daddy’s “despotic mandate” against weding Felix.Indeed, it’s for this that critic A.K. Mellor keeps in mind Safie as “the incarnation of M.Wollstonecraft in the novel”.