In Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein and Charlotte Gilman’s narrative “The Yellow Wallpaper,” imprisonment is a reoccurring theme. The main characters in both stories seek to break devoid of the confinements imposed upon them by hierarchical societies. These strictly stratified societies prosecute the characters; who respond with immediate action in order to accomplish that freedom which their societies have purged from them.
Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster, and John’s better half all suffer the indignities of both actual and metaphorical imprisonment founded on racism, classism, and sexism. In “Frankenstein,” Victor endures several kinds of imprisonment. His workshop is similar to a jail cell, in that he remains in the room for months at a time and leaves only for short stretches. Victor confesses that, “My cheek had actually grown pale with research study, and my individual had actually become emaciated with confinement” (Shelly 32). Victor is actually put behind bars by the authorities for the murder of his buddy, Henry Clerval.
He is metaphorically imprisoned by his inability to secure his liked ones, including his fiancÃ©e, from his beast. He exposes the fear produced by his powerlessness when he states, “And then I reconsidered of his words- I will be with you on your wedding-night” (Shelly 117). Victor’s worry of social ostracism, which would be the likely outcome if anyone of his class were to discover that he had actually produced the repulsive monster that had actually killed many innocent individuals, likewise impairs his actions.
It is only after he chooses to pursue the beast and overcome him in order to alleviate his conscience that Victor breaks devoid of the jail that his fears create for him. Although Victor dies before avenging his enjoyed ones, his death is what ultimately releases him from this jail. Frankenstein’s beast also suffers both actual and metaphoric jail time. Due to the fact that his ugly look prevents him from establishing relationships with humans, he is a prisoner in his own body. The beast’s unexpected killing of a kid in the woods is an example his inability to have even one of the most fundamental social experiences.
The monster is likewise sentenced to something like holding cell by the De Laceys. Although he invests months learning how to speak and read so that others will believe him civilized, the De Laceys chase him away when he finally approaches them. Felix tackles the beast who remorsefully specifies “I could have been torn limb from limb” (Shelly 91), this shows how unwilling the De Laceys are to compromise. The beast is mistreated in the same way that the victims of racism are mistreated: specifically, he is rejected for his outwardly look.
Even though the beast is the only one of it’s race, he is prosecuted by a hierarchical society who doesn’t evaluate based on character. Frankenstein’s monster attempts to win his liberty from seclusion by asking his creator, Victor, to build a female monster for him. The monster pleads, “You must produce a woman for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of the sympathies needed for my being” (Shelly 98). The monster believes that having a companion would provide him a factor to live, however Victor rejects his beast of this request. We see in Anne K.
Mellor’s “Processing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein”, “By taking the woman’s control over reproduction, Frankenstein has removed the woman’s primary biological function and source of cultural power”(Mellor 274). This further more states that Victor has actually developed the ideal patriarchal society, in which the creation of humanity no longer requires the service of women. The woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” likewise experiences a number of various kinds of imprisonment. The lady’s other half, John, treats her like a prisoner in her own home since of her postpartum anxiety.
She feels that she has really little freedom of thought or action because John dictates the course of her life as though he were a jail guard. She has internalized her spouse’s authority to the point she hears John’s voice in her head. The narrator states, “I often expensive that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus-but John states the really worst thing I can do is think of my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and discuss your house”(Gilman 2).
The storyteller starts to keep a secret journal because of this captivity, this writing is the only emotional stimulus the woman can forgo to reveal herself freely. She states, “I need to not let them find me composing” (Gilman 3). In a metaphorical sense, the lady finds herself trapped by her condition and the patriarchal society in which she lives. Both prevent her from asserting her self-reliance as a women. In a physical sense, she discovers herself restricted to a room of John’s choosing. All she can do is consume over the wallpaper. The storyteller says, “I am getting actually fond of the space in spite of the wallpaper.
Maybe because of the wallpaper” (Gilman 7). Eventually, when she sees the creeping females in the wallpaper, the narrator gains a measure of freedom when she tears everything down, hence freeing her mind as well as the locked up ladies, fusing into one. The narrator rejoices that, “I’ve gone out at last” (Gilman 10). She goes crazy at the expense of winning her liberty from John and a sexist society. The main characters in both stories go through a significant change. They all start as prisoners of sorts, however they all eventually break complimentary when they face the powers that imprison them.
This shows evident with some realities about humankind, about the jails that we build for ourselves and the jails that our societies constructs for us. Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s beast, and John’s better half all struggle with hierarchical societies which turn down the characters, who try to gain their freedom which have been denied to them.
Functions Cited Gilman, Charlotte. The Yellow Wallpaper. Boston, Ma: Small & & Maynard, 1899. Web. 2 Oct. 2010. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York, NY: W. W. Norton &&, 1996. Print.