Complex and Ambiguous attitudes towards women Flashcards Preview

English Lit A Level: Frankenstein And THT > Complex and Ambiguous attitudes towards women > Flashcards

Flashcards in Complex and Ambiguous attitudes towards women Deck (4)
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What are the 3 topic sentences for this topic?

1.) infantilisation of women (and how this is perceived by the narrator)

2.) the denial and avoidance of female sexuality

3.) the distorting effect ensued by the denial of female sexuality


what are the quotations for topic 1?

topic 1= the infantilisation of women:

THT: the Commander is 'positively daddyish' in his treatment of Offred, - chapter directly preceded by a more subtle depiction of patronisation, in an immersive memory of life before the regime:
- 'hush... you know I'll always take care of you' -

- ' underground frailroad (laughter, groans)' -

insertion of 1980s reality allows the reader to question to what extent present attitudes differ from those of the Gilead regime
- complacency of a post- 2nd wave feminism America- Atwood calls for the need for further progress

reader perhaps more explicitly encouraged to disapprove of this in Frankenstein: 'fragile creature... docile... insect... tend on... favourite animal'
- Mary Wollstonecraft: 'slavish obedience' 'rational companionship'


what are the quotations for topic 2?

topic 2= the denial and avoidance of female sexuality:

Frankenstein: Elizabeth is Frankenstein's cousin
> Frankenstein attempts to usurp the role of the female in the process of sexual reproduction, denies female sexuality as replaces it with science in a sexualised perception of his scientific work:
- ' painful labour to arrive at the summit of my desires was a the most gratifying consummation of my toils'

Context: increasing cultural interest in scientific discovery
: Humphry Davy ' ascertain her (nature's) secrets'

THT: Whereas in THT we observe the denial of sexuality of the female, in Frankenstein we witness the complete avoidance-- Frankenstein attempts to escape it entirely

- even during (enforced) sexual intercourse: ' full, ankle-length skirt... keeps us from seeing... from being seen'

veil= Sharia Law and islamic fundamentalism, denial of female sexuality= right wing revolution of Iran


What are the quotes for topic 3?

Topic 3= the distortion and perversion of sexuality ( as a result of denying it)

- ' thrusted buttocks... hair exposed in all its darkness... red outlines damp cavities'- the denial of something only increases the desire for it?

- Frankenstein: as he embraces Elizabeth, her lips 'became livid with the hue of death.... dead mother... grave worms crawling'
- prefigures Freud in the idea that dreams are a manifestation of the subconscious
- Oedipus complex

In both instances the authors evoke a startlingly vivd image, in Frankenstein this is one devoid of sexuality, and highly unnatural given the atmosphere of death, whereas in THT this is a visceral image of exaggerated yet innate human sexuality. Despite this divergence, the underlying message of both authors can be regarded as the urgency for society to accept female sexuality as a positive entity.