The kind, gentle female who is “more than sister” to Victor and “more than daughter” to his father marries Victor. Her devotion to Victor is total and undying. Elizabeths love for Victor rivals the love of Caroline for Alphonse. In this case it is Elizabeths love which gains prominence, and not Victors.
Elizabeth has never complained of the ambiguity of their relationship. She has totally given up her life for the Frankenstein family, raising William and Ernest as her own children. She is a fearless being, ready to stand up for what she believes is right. When the whole world turns its back on the innocent Justine, Elizabeth defends her. She even blames herself for Williams death because she had given him the miniature of Caroline, for which, it is presumed, he was murdered.
Elizabeth, too, falls prey to the monster because she is an important part of Victors life. The monster exacts vengeance by depriving Victor of such total love and devotion
“Be happy, my dear Victor,” replied Elizabeth; “there is, I hope, nothing to distress you; and be assured that if a lively joy is not painted in my face, my heart is contented. Something whispers to me not to depend too much on the prospect that is opened before us; but I will not listen to such a sinister voice. Observe how fast we move along, and how the clouds, which sometimes obscure and sometimes rise above the dome of Mont Blanc, render this scene of beauty still more interesting. Look also at the innumerable fish that are swimming in the clear waters, where we can distinguish every pebble that lies at the bottom. What a divine day! how happy and serene all nature appears!” From this quote it can be seen that Elizabeth is a sign of hope for Victor. Reveals her true character. Shows her romantic side, strong connection with nature.
Elizabeth is an example of women during Mary Shelley??™s time. They supported, encouraged and took care their husbands. Mary Shelley is against this idea because the limitations of man have been crossed.
He is a devoted friend to Victor. He is like a savior, coming at the right time to rescue Victor from the brink of destruction. He wants to be with him so that they can study together and share their joys and sorrows. In short, he wants to be the perfect friend. It is tragic that Victor does not trust him enough to reveal his deepest, darkest secret to him.
Henry is a perceptive person, and he knows when something is amiss. He is one of the few people who knows how to manage Victor during a crisis.
Henry is a very caring person. It is he who nurses Victor back to health. He stays by his side day and night and gives him cheerful company to raise his spirits. He keeps memories of the laboratory away from Victor, because he knows Victor has developed an aversion for the place. This indicates that Henry is aware that Victor has been up to something. However, he has the decency not to intrude upon Victors privacy.
He, too, sacrifices his life for Victors ambitions.
???Youre afraid. I was afraid at first. Its the way weve been brought up. Weve been brought up to fear! To fear the punishment of the gods. But Prometheus defied them.??? Shows the relationship between Clerval and Victor and how he cares for him in times of distress. In this quote, Clerval is telling Victor to fear the gods and there consequences and not to take on the role of god. Victor is said to be like Prometheus who went over the limits, leading to his death.
Her character is very similar to Carolines. After all, Caroline was a major influence on her, and she wanted to follow in her footsteps. Everything she does is exactly what Caroline would have done.
Her composure in court and her simple defense when accused of Williams murder speak volumes about her character. She is the typical self-sacrificing female of nineteenth-century literature. She is highly submissive and gives in to her mothers complaints, but she never complains herself. She even lets herself be blamed for her siblings deaths. She is very generous and unafraid of death. She dies peacefully, knowing that her loved ones, Elizabeth and Victor, are convinced of her innocence. She is another victim of Victors ambition.
Justine is another example of women during the time of Shelley. Their role was to look after the family, clean the house and care for the family. Women weren??™t recognized as important in society, man had to make all the discoveries and write all the books. This relates to her death in Frankenstein. She was accused guilty and even though she was known to be innocent, it didn??™t really matter in a sense because she was a female.
Alphonse Frankenstein – Victor??™s father, very sympathetic toward his son. Alphonse consoles Victor in moments of pain and encourages him to remember the importance of family. Also encourages Victor to marry Elizabeth.
What would be your surprise, my son, when you expected a happy and glad welcome, to behold, on the contrary, tears and wretchedness And how, Victor, can I relate our misfortune Absence cannot have rendered you callous to our joys and griefs; and how shall I inflict pain on my long absent Son In this quote, Victor??™s father is showing his grief about Victor, who has been away from them for some time now. The absence of one child has a great impact on the family.
During the Age of Enlightenment, young scientists who were in pursuit of knowledge regularly isolated themselves from everyone around them and casually left home, sometimes never returning. This broke family ties and separated each other.
Caroline Beaufort (victors mum) – The daughter of Beaufort. After her father??™s death, Caroline is taken in by, and later marries, Alphonse Frankenstein. She dies of scarlet fever, which she contracts from Elizabeth, just before Victor leaves for Ingolstadt at age seventeen.
“My children,” she said, “my firmest hopes of future happiness were placed on the prospect of your union. This expectation will now be the consolation of your father. Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to my younger children. Alas! I regret that I am taken from you; and, happy and beloved as I have been, is it not hard to quit you all But these are not thoughts befitting me; I will endeavour to resign myself cheerfully to death, and will indulge a hope of meeting you in another world.” This shows a caring side of Caroline. She died taking care of Elizabeth on the sickbed. It is her altruism that leads to her death. This confirms that she is virtuous, an angle, an ideal mother.
Example of women during Shelley??™s time. Role is to care for the family and husband and look after the house.
Parents together ??“???My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence. We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed. When I mingled with other families, I distinctly discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was, and gratitude assisted the development of filial love.??? This notion of parents and creator, contrasts when Victor creates the monster. He has the role of a parents to look after his creation, but rejects it and abandons it.
THEMES (SCIENCE VS NATURE)
The pursuit of knowledge is at the heart of Frankenstein, as Victor attempts to surge beyond accepted human limits and access the secret of life. Likewise, Robert Walton attempts to surpass previous human explorations by endeavoring to reach the North Pole. This ruthless pursuit of knowledge, of the light (see ???Light and Fire???), proves dangerous, as Victor??™s act of creation eventually results in the destruction of everyone dear to him, and Walton finds himself perilously trapped between sheets of ice. Whereas Victor??™s obsessive hatred of the monster drives him to his death, Walton ultimately pulls back from his treacherous mission, having learned from Victor??™s example how destructive the thirst for knowledge can be. Also the pursue for knowledge is forbidden by nature.
???Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.??? Victor is addressing Walton directly and saying that the voyage is going to destroy him. Uses a very didactic tone. He wants to stop Walton immediately so he doesn??™t follow his tracks and suffer the consequences he suffered. ???I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organisation; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man.??? He is trying to make Walton aware that he is giving himself a god like status (power to create). This reinforces the scientists ambitions to create life and were classed as madmen at her time. Shelley witnessed all these mad science creations happen in public during the age of enlightenment.
During the age of enlightenment , many scientists wants to gain knowledge that was forbidden from them. They wanted to be able to learn so much that in the end it ended up destroying them rather then building them. Nature forbid the gaining of this knowledge. The role of god and to create life was not of an ordinary mans role. The pursuit for this forbidden knowledge often lead to isolation.
The sublime natural world, embraced by Romanticism (late eighteenth century to mid-nineteenth century) as a source of unrestrained emotional experience for the individual, initially offers characters the possibility of spiritual renewal. Mired in depression and remorse after the deaths of William and Justine, for which he feels responsible, Victor heads to the mountains to lift his spirits. Likewise, after a hellish winter of cold and abandonment, the monster feels his heart lighten as spring arrives. The influence of nature on mood is evident throughout the novel, but for Victor, the natural world??™s power to console him wanes when he realizes that the monster will haunt him no matter where he goes. By the end, as Victor chases the monster obsessively, nature, in the form of the Arctic desert, functions simply as the symbolic backdrop for his primal struggle against the monster.
Romantics were really connected with nature. They usually went on nature walks. To the romantics, nature was like a god. They believed that the power of nature was extraordinary. At times it can be so calm and nurturing while at others it can be destructive and terrifying. They believed that the pursuit for forbidden knowledge was wrong. People had no right to take on the role of god and attempt to create life. Nature forbid this knowledge and the romantics agreed to this. Nature cared for those who were in need of it. It was like a mother. When the monster was abandoned by Frankenstein, nature cared for him and provided him with food and shelter. It taught him how to survive and allowed him to learn. It took the role of a parent, something Victor was responsible for but rejected. Shows that the pursuit for knowledge was forbidden and had its limitations for a particular reason. Victor was blinded by this knowledge and when the monster was created, he realized what he had created.
The Prometheus of Frankenstein??™s subtitle did more than fashion human beings from clay: at considerable expense to his liver and liberty, Prometheus took fire from the sun and used it to nurture his creation. Mary Shelley??™s invocation of Prometheus reminds us that knowledge and technology can give succor. The ironic gap between Prometheus and Victor Frankenstein attends not to any lack or excess in Frankenstein??™s creative genius, but to his failure to support his creature. Prometheus disrupts hierarchies of privilege; Frankenstein, abandoning his creature, does not. Shelley means us to disapprove of Victor Frankenstein, it does not follow that she means us to disapprove of Prometheus or the Promethean spirit of Romantic scientific enquiry, and, secondly, that there are notable works amongst Frankenstein??™s critical copia that have the author??™s depiction of Frankenstein critiquing ills far other than scientific hubris. The ambit of science in Europe and North America two hundred years ago was perhaps more inclusive (of metaphysical, non-empirical enquiry) than it is in Western culture today. The word itself, ???science???, was a far more malleable one. Victor Frankenstein confesses to Clerval his ???tastes for natural science??? (Shelley 69), but equally Shelley refers to him in her introduction as ???the pale student of unhallowed arts???, an ???artist??? who would ???rush away from his odious handy-work, horror-stricken???