"Influence of 'Family' in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"

Essay by ShivaMohanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2002

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This essay explores the various instances where "family" determines the characters actions and unltimatly directs the plot of the story. This is a very consice but specific essay, as we were limited to 500 words.

Shiva Mohan

Influence of "family" in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Family in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein demonstrates a myriad of roles, influencing Victor Frankenstein and his creation. Victor's childhood establishes a connection between the reader and Victor, building his character. The monster is influenced by the various episodes with the family of cottagers

The recounting of Victor's childhood coalesce the reader to Victor, conveying his affection for his family. "No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself...it was the secrets if heaven and earth that I desired to learn"(23). This close rapport rationalizes his intense abhorrence for the monster. There is a reciprocated need for support and care between Victor and his family. At the most abject times, nothing "could have given [him] greater pleasure than the arrival of [his] father"(165), indicating his need for support from his father.

Victor's care for his family has an ever-lasting role in the novel. This is what drives him towards destroying his creation. Finally, upon hearing of the death of William, and subsequent framing of Justine, "[he] was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried [him] away to a hell of intense tortures such as no language can describe"(74). It was this care for his family, which led him to realize the need for his acknowledgement of the presence of his creation, and bring an end to its being.

Analogous to the Frankenstein family's influence on Victor, the family of cottagers influence the monster. Firstly, the monster aspires to become like them, even though the cottagers live in dismal and appalling conditions, emphasizing on...