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Characters in Frankenstein

Uploaded by bron on Jun 29, 2001

Examine the way in which characters are portrayed in the novel.


In the novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, the characters have been portrayed effectively. Much of the interactions between characters, and characteristics of the characters have been based on events which have occurred in Shelley’s own life, or they represent what she believes is important. For example, Victor is portrayed as having a strong passion for science, and a poor understanding of relationships. Elizabeth is shown as a stereotypical woman of the time, who is also very powerless. The monster is depicted as being both beautiful and ugly, and someone who the reader feels sympathetic towards. Through the portrayal of her characters, Shelley has created a very effective novel.

Shelley portrays Victor Frankenstein as a person who has become enrapt in the strong scientific movement of the time. She created him in response to what she saw happening around her – science was becoming a religion to some people, as it provided answers to their questions about the world, and started a fascination that humans could create anything that they wanted to. In her novel, Victor is one of these people, and wants to be the supreme creator or scientist, and therefore take over the role of God. To do this, he creates a being, thinking that ‘a new species would bless me as its creator and source …No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.’ (pages 52-53). Victor then abandons this creature which he has made, and this is one of his main crimes. After Victor has done this, his monster murders all those who were close to him, and this represents Shelley’s beliefs on how dangerous the worshipping of science could become, and the need for other focuses in life.

Victor Frankenstein is also portrayed as somebody who is isolated from others, and terrified of relationships. As a child, his only friends are Elizabeth and Clerval, and they are in fact, the only true friends he has throughout his entire life. He isolates himself from society during the time he is creating the monster, claiming that, ‘I must absent myself from all I loved whilst thus employed’ (page 147). He claims that this is necessary if he is to discover the secret of life. One reason why Victor isolates himself is due to his fear of sexuality. When he creates the monster,...

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Uploaded by:   bron

Date:   06/29/2001

Category:   Frankenstein

Length:   5 pages (1,203 words)

Views:   3261

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