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Les Fleurs du Mal and Frankenstein

            Frankenstein (1817) by Mary Shelley and Les Fleurs du Mal (1957) by Charles Baudelaire can both be considered timeless in the eyes of contemporary society as they both discuss social issues that continue to be significant today. Traditional gender roles and the role of religion in society are both topics that have sparked societal debate for centuries, and this is evident in the two texts. In said texts the composers both depict women as beautiful and important, however they are characterised in two opposing lights. Similarly, the role of religion in society is discussed in both texts, yet the two composers' opinions contrast. The arguments and opinions expressed by these two composers can be seen throughout present-day society despite their age, so they can most definitely be considered timeless.
             In both texts, the composers discuss the role of women in society, depicting them as beautiful and important yet characterising them in differing lights. This shows that both authors have an appreciation and respect for women akin to the most common opinion of contemporary, developed society. In Frankenstein, Shelley depicts women as beautiful however she characterises them to be passive and submissive members of society, implying that a society that undervalues women can only end in ruins. This can be seen when Elizabeth is describing Justine to Victor Frankenstein, stating that she is "very clever and gentle and extremely pretty". Here not only do we see Shelley depict women as beautiful and important through Elizabeth's literal description of Justine, we also see Elizabeth demonstrate her intelligence by employing the rhetorical devices of polysyndeton in her repetition of the word "and" in conjunction with the listing of qualities that men like Frankenstein would find appealing in a woman. This shows Shelley's depiction of women in her novel, yet we the reader meets Justine she herself states that she "has no power" in relation to her fate as a wrongly accused murderer.

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