Female Roles in “Anne of Green Gables” and “Frankenstein”

Oct 20 16:32 2006 Andrew Sandon Print This Article

In their works, L.M. L.N. Montgomery and Mary Shelley represent contrasting prototypes of female characters: a strong feminist character of Anne in "Anne of Green Gables" and the passive female hero of Elizabeth Lavenza in Shelley's "Frankenstein". These differences are caused by different social backgrounds of the heroines, life experience and personal qualities.

In their works,Guest Posting L.M. L.N. Montgomery and Mary Shelley represent contrasting prototypes of female characters: a strong feminist character of Anne in "Anne of Green Gables" and the passive female hero of Elizabeth Lavenza in Shelley's "Frankenstein". These differences are caused by different social backgrounds of the heroines, life experience and personal qualities. Montgomery creates a strong character of Anne able to fight and survive in any circumstances. It is possible to say that Anne's behavior can be described as atypical in some cases. She is alien, masculine, and frightening at the beginning of the novel, by the end she is able to control her temper and rigorous nature. The character of Elizabeth Lavenza is a stable one. Her inner psychological state does not change through the novel. She represents a typical woman whose domestic role of wife and mother is predetermined. With the help of Anne, Montgomery points out the readers' attention to virtues of conciseness, strong, clear imagery, symbolism, understatement, humor, and irony. The following remark describes a code of personal identity helping Anne to survive: It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Of course, you must make it up FIRMLY (Montgomery, Chapter 5). In contrast Elizabeth Lavenza's code of values growing out of women's culture, which is sustained by sermons, child-rearing manuals, and sentimental fiction. Elizabeth advocates motherly influence as an effective solution to such her problems. She is depicted as sympathetic and compassionate, but fails inner strength essential for survival. Elizabeth was of a calmer and more concentrated disposition; but, with all my ardour, I was capable of a more intense application and was more deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge (Shelley, Chapter 2).

Success for Anne means fight in whatever direc¬tion. To the attainment of any end worth living for, a symmetrical sacrifice of her nature is compulsory upon her. But adult life persuades her to change her mind, and the novel records the changes of her wild nature and desire to riches when her beloved guardian Marilla fell ill. This does not mean that Anne stops to fight. Quite the contrary, her sympathy and inner strength helps her to sacrifice her dream to study at college and stay at Green Gables to care for Marilla. Anne says: I'm not going to take the scholarship. I decided so the night after you came home from town. You surely don't think I could leave you alone in your trouble, Marilla, after all you've done for me (Shelley, Chapter, 38).

In "Anne of Green Gables", her guardians and friends want that Anne will be more lady like. One more quality, which Anne possesses, is sympathy. It relates to concern and respect for others and the environment. It is often expressed by the word 'love' used in a broad sense. Love as care does not refer to an emotion or a state of mind so much as to a human faculty of identification with others, sympathy with all beings. Sympathy seeks many and various channels of realisation. One of the secrets to the success of Anne is her natural beauty, which lies in the way she perceives the world. Love and passion are typical for every female. But, she tries to balance reason and passion. Anne has a vivid imagination and romantic nature which cause her to be passionate and a little bit strange with a bundle of red hair which despises her greatly. In contrast to Anne, Elizabeth is a lady like character. She is used to be guided and supported by family members. It is possible to say that all women represented in the novel "Frankenstein" suffer greatly because their role in the life is limited. Elizabeth is a weak woman who cannot fight for love and happiness. Victor describes: And when, on the morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally and looked upon Elizabeth as minemine to protect, love, and cherish (Shelley, Chapter, 1). Elizabeth's actions are not logical and self-aware. She wants to attract Victor's attention, but she is too calm and shy to fight for love. On the other hand, this was a typical thing for a woman of her class not to fight but remain passive waiting for better days. Anne is described as a feminist character who takes heart in the hope that it may take much time and effort to achieve her dream. She tries to unit her supreme capacity of love with the sacred individuality of her life. It seems that Anne wants to have the same rights as men have, to be equal with them, and that is why she invents for herself a new role. She seems to have believed that men and women alike have great difficulty integrating their desires to live as discrete individuals. She opposes strongly to any tension on her personality trying to keep and preserve her values and ideals. Elizabeth is stuck to values preached by the society she lives in. Any woman should be brave enough to make a change for the sake of her husband. But the heroine of the story is not courageous to make this step. Her death at the end of the story is a dramatic act, which emphasizes how impossible it was for her to fight. Victor describes the last minutes with Elizabeth as follows: Elizabeth observed my agitation for some time in timid and fearful silence, but there was something in my glance which communicated terror to her, and trembling, she asked, "What is it that agitates you, my dear Victor? What is it you fear?" "Oh! Peace, peace, my love," replied I; "this night, and all will be safe; but this night is dreadful, very dreadful. " (Shelley, Chapter, 23). This situation shows that Elizabeth did nothing to know what has happened and try to prevent it. A simple explanation that everything is OK is a perfect reason for Elizabeth to wait and see remaining calm and peaceful. It is possible to predict that if Anne is faced with the same situation, she would never waiting for something to happen. She would take all her pains to change the situation and help her to fight. For instance, one day she surprised Marilla saying "I'll try to be a model pupil. There won't be much fun in it, I expect (Montgomery, Chapter, 1). Anne is demanded freedom and innovation. She modifies realistic world about friendship and good relationships that form the bulk of her life. Matthew characterized Anne saying that: "Well now, I'd rather have you than a dozen boys, Anne," said Matthew patting her hand. "Just mind you thatrather than a dozen boys. Well now, I guess it wasn't a boy that took the Avery scholarship, was it? It was a girlmy girlmy girl that I'm proud of" (Montgomery, Chapter, 1). But in thinking of nature's trap for women, Elizabeth never moves from her own questioning to the larger social statement that is feminism. Her ineffectually is partly a product of her time; Elizabeth has lost some of the sense of connectedness to other women that might help her plan her future. The novel suggests, in fact, something of the historical loss for women of transferring the sense of self to relationships with men. Despite her efforts to escape social rituals, Elizabeth seems fated to reenact them. Ironically, considering her determi¬nation to discard the trappings of her role as a society matron her wedding ring, her 'reception day', her 'charming home' - the high point of Elizabeth's weakness is a wedding night. The differences between female characters is that Anne is optimistic believing that one day she will be able to change her life. Elizabeth does not dream about changes but for marriage and motherhood. Elizabeth is a real lady who relies on her father (guardian) and her husband. She prefers to escape from life troubles rather than solve them. Elizabeth is submitted by men following their ideals and values. Women's life, their destiny defined and depended upon the men, and, particularly, upon the their marriage. Although men had an influence on women's behavior and exaggerated them in many life situations. It is possible to conclude that both authors represent vivid and impressive characters portraying different women through their social background and values. Most of Anne friends want to be lady like, but to preserve her inner strength and charm she opposes strongly proving that a woman should be strong to survive. In contrast, Elizabeth is a lady, but lack of personal strength and ability to survive lead to her death. Produced by ProfEssays ( www.professays.com ) - professional custom essay writing service: custom essays, custom term papers, custom academic papers, custom research papers, compositions, book reports, case study. No plagiarism, high quality, prompt delivery.

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Andrew Sandon
Andrew Sandon

Produced by ProfEssays ( www.professays.com ) - professional custom essay writing service: custom essays, custom term papers, custom academic papers, custom research papers, compositions, book reports, case study. No plagiarism, high quality, prompt delivery.

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