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.