Monstrous Regiments of Women and Brides of Frankenstein: Gendered Body Politics in Scottish Female Gothic Fiction
Feeling himself and his family increasingly persecuted by his creature three years after its creation, Victor Frankenstein agrees, after a lengthy and impassioned conversation during which the creature relates his tragic tale, to provide him with a female companion. Only in this manner, Victor rationalises, may he appease his resentful, homicidal monster and regain peace and normalcy. This incident notably coincides with Victor’s agreement, at his ageing father’s urging, to marry Elizabeth after completing a two-year European tour with his beloved friend, Henri Clerval.2 In order to ‘compose … [the] female monster’ (124) over the course of his tour, Frankenstein determines to retire to ‘one of the remotest of the Orkney [islands]’ in Scotland (136). Thus are the two ‘brides’ of Frankenstein inextricably connected in Mary Shelley’s compelling novel, a significant association in keeping with the Gothic’s longstanding engagement with anxieties relating to sexual desire and such key rites of passage as marriage and death. Thus, too, is Scotland represented as the domain of female monsters in this iconic Gothic work.
KeywordsTextual Evidence Sexual Reassignment Surgery Subsequent Reference Female Companion British Bulldog
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