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Speciesism in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Kallman, Alexandra LU (2015) LIVR41 20151
Master's Programme: Literature - Culture - Media
English Studies
Abstract
This essay analyses how Mary Shelley challenges speciesist thinking popular at the time of the publication of Frankenstein (1818). Speciesism is a discriminatory belief that favours the human species over any species other than human, and that is manifested in how we perceive and treat nonhuman beings. Much literary criticism has touched upon Frankenstein’s monster’s otherness, mainly in relation to racism. However, this essay argues that the monster’s otherness is linked to his nonhuman appearance and is therefore subjected to speciesism by being perceived and treated as a nonhuman animal. The essay also discusses Victor Frankenstein as the epitome of the Enlightenment scientist who engages in speciesist thinking and practises, the... (More)
This essay analyses how Mary Shelley challenges speciesist thinking popular at the time of the publication of Frankenstein (1818). Speciesism is a discriminatory belief that favours the human species over any species other than human, and that is manifested in how we perceive and treat nonhuman beings. Much literary criticism has touched upon Frankenstein’s monster’s otherness, mainly in relation to racism. However, this essay argues that the monster’s otherness is linked to his nonhuman appearance and is therefore subjected to speciesism by being perceived and treated as a nonhuman animal. The essay also discusses Victor Frankenstein as the epitome of the Enlightenment scientist who engages in speciesist thinking and practises, the novel’s criticism of speciesist practices
such as vivisection, and the novel’s promotion of vegetarianism. Shelley questions speciesism by blurring the species boundaries that separate human beings from nonhuman beings, which is why the human-animal binary will be an underlying theme throughout the essay. (Less)
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author
Kallman, Alexandra LU
supervisor
organization
course
LIVR41 20151
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
language
English
id
7440027
date added to LUP
2015-06-23 13:37:27
date last changed
2015-06-23 16:08:18
@misc{7440027,
  abstract     = {This essay analyses how Mary Shelley challenges speciesist thinking popular at the time of the publication of Frankenstein (1818). Speciesism is a discriminatory belief that favours the human species over any species other than human, and that is manifested in how we perceive and treat nonhuman beings. Much literary criticism has touched upon Frankenstein’s monster’s otherness, mainly in relation to racism. However, this essay argues that the monster’s otherness is linked to his nonhuman appearance and is therefore subjected to speciesism by being perceived and treated as a nonhuman animal. The essay also discusses Victor Frankenstein as the epitome of the Enlightenment scientist who engages in speciesist thinking and practises, the novel’s criticism of speciesist practices
such as vivisection, and the novel’s promotion of vegetarianism. Shelley questions speciesism by blurring the species boundaries that separate human beings from nonhuman beings, which is why the human-animal binary will be an underlying theme throughout the essay.},
  author       = {Kallman, Alexandra},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Speciesism in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein},
  year         = {2015},
}