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Surfacing and Frankenstein - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
Surfacing by Margaret Atwood is packed with images of Americans attacking and adulterating Canada. The Americans are shown to kill for sport, leave trash everywhere, pepper the village with tourist cabins, and install missile silos. One of the characters, David, even theorized as far as the invasion of Canada by Americans for Canadian fresh water…
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Surfacing and Frankenstein

Download file to see previous pages... David imitates Woody Woodpecker and loves baseball though he claims he hates Americans. American development, per Atwood, is a harmful and disadvantageous psychological power.
In Frankenstein, the motif of abortion appears as both Victor and his creation state their feelings regarding the creation's monstrosity. When Victor first glances at his creation, he exclaims, "When I thought of him, I gnashed my teeth, my eyes became inflamed, and I ardently wished to extinguish that life which I had so thoughtlessly made." Similarly, the monster suffers the same repulsion for himself, saying, "I, the
miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on." Both the creation and the creator grieve over what was created. What is common in these two novels is that David (Surfacing) and Victor (Frankenstein) created something that they actually hate. David created in himself a baseball fan and a Woody Woodpecker imitator, both products of Americans that he openly hates. Victor, in his pursuit of knowledge about the mystery of science and life, created a monster he eventually hates.
This can again be seen in Frankenstein when Victor literally terminates his creation of a female monster, tears down his work thus avoiding the coming to life of another monstrous creation. In Victor's view of natural philosophy is symbolic abortion: "I at once gave up my former occupations; set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation; and entertained the greatest disdain for a would-be science, which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge." Concerning the monstrous creation, Victor is disappointed with natural science and considers it as academically gross and useless. This easy abandonment of his creations (especially Frankenstein) can also be felt in the narrator's feeling of neglect and rejection by her parents. This abandonment caused both the monstrous creation and the narrator their deep-seated alienation from society.
Submissive Women
"Power" is mentioned by the narrator several times before actively seeking for this "power" in her madness. She thinks that a certain plant seed will make her all-
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powerful (Chapter four). She also states that childbirth is claimed as the doctor's power and not the mother's (Chapter nine). She alternately pretends to be a powerful animal and a helpless one (Chapter 15). Ultimately, the narrator's reaction to alienation is accentuated by her pursuit of power. Since the narrator's early years, she has been insensitive and detached from everyone, crippled by inappropriate gender roles and religious beliefs. The narrator mad pursuit of power signifies the false hope that her humanity can be reclaimed by isolating herself from society. In the end, the narrator worked out her issue of powerlessness by attaining power. She accepts that she should discover communication and love so as to have a role in society. Her unease over societal isolation is parallel to her pursuit of power.
On the other hand, Frankenstein, a novel written by the daughter of a known feminist, is noticeably lacking powerful female characters. The story is full of submissive women who suffer in silence and eventually die: Elizabeth who helplessly waits for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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