Rogers, Elizabeth. “Feminist glance : The Bride of Frankenstein”. The American Cultural Studies Journal. ASSP. 48-73. JSTOR.
The article examines the complex gender dynamics that form the core of the film The Bride of Frankenstein by James Whale. The article provides three instances to establish the gender complexities prevalent in the movie.
Firstly, the gendered scenario takes the shape of a triangle involving two men and a woman. This smoothly hints at the imminent exchange, followed by consequent erasure of the woman. The author finds this structure similar to that of an Oedipal configuration.
The article simultaneously problematizes the above claim by stating that the film also poses a challenge to the established and fixed parameters of such triangular models. The question arises how. The article answers the question by two claims. Firstly, the triangle constitutes the potential to change the competitive force of male rivalry into a subversive mode of male homoeroticism. Also, the triangle aims to minimize the demonization of women with the help of an assertive female power towards the end of the film.
The article further regulates the various possibilities that surround the image of the triangle. The gender triangle serves as an essential framework to define or render space to the thriving of feminist theory. The article argues that the theories that find groundings in this triangle are received as volatile structures in the dual reference of both gender and sexuality.
Thirdly, the author argues that the monster is a suppressed symbol of racial difference and his sexualized advances encode racist American discourse of the 1930s on the following domains : masculinity, femininity, rape,and lynching. This evinces that the focus of the film on race aims to mould feminist reading of the disparate gender moments of the film. It attempts dissolve the feminist film theories focus, which the author terms as “myopic” upon two dominant receiver : the white male gaze and the spectator.
The article concludes that the by rendering the camera to show two male figures suspended above a female corpse leads on the climax which is devised from a purely gendered lens.
All this is preparation for the film’s climactic scene, in which the two scientists animate the female monster; at this moment, the camera frames them in medium shot on opposite sides of hermute, bandaged form. Reading this moment against the first scene between Henry and Praetorius, we can see that the bride’s appearance fills the same function, structurally, as Elizabeth’s earlier disappearance. Both are silent catalysts for the furthering of relations between the film’s male protagonists, with the bride providing a more visceral example, different in degree but not in kind, of the treatment of Elizabeth (Rogers 55)
The article infers that the Bride of Frankenstein renders not only a psychoanalytic rigour of male rivalry and female erasure but also aims to depict the performance of a complex system of gender exchange.