"Changing the Role of Fathers" A creative writing essay on how Mary Shelley in her book "Frankenstein" is advocating a change in the role of the father in the home

Essay by g_of_tonguesCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2006

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In her book "Frankenstein", Mary Shelley proposes to change the father's role in society. The standard of the day was of a father who was uninvolved in family life. Shelley advocates a change in the standard by portraying Frankenstein's father as wholly involved at home.

At the time that Frankenstein was written it was very uncommon for fathers to be very involved at home. They were the moneymakers of the household and were not to be bothered with domestic questions. They were to be instantly obeyed without question and if they weren't punishment would soon follow. Feelings of love or tenderness were not to be showed and the household was ruled with force. Fathers of the day left things such as the education of their children up to the mother or a governess, never doing it themselves. While this was the social standard of the time, it hurt the development of children and was a factor in the physical and mental abuse that was rampant during that time.

Shelley changes this socially accepted practice by portraying Frankenstein's family dramatically different. From the very beginning Frankenstein's father is thoroughly involved in home life (20). He directs his children's studies (24), helping them to discover a wider world and answering their questions about it. This translates over into conversation about their daily lives with the intention of finding out and helping his children with problems they might have. In this household the voice of the demanding father who was to be instantly obeyed was absent and instead everyone, "complied with the slightest desire of the other family members because of the mutual affection that they had for each other" (24). The idea that a father could be involved at home and have such a positive impact was...