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Free Study Guide-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley-Free Chapter Summary Notes
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The "Monster"

He is the nameless creature who is the product of Victor's ambition, curiosity, and forbidden knowledge. He remains anonymous until the end of the novel. It is ironic that one has to refer to him as a "monster" or a "demon" when he starts out as more humane than many of the other characters.

His sensitivity is touching at times. The reader sees him enjoying the De Lacey family sessions. At that time, love as an emotion is dominant, and aggression is still dormant in him.

It is unfortunate that he is always misunderstood due to his size and his horrible appearance. One cannot help feeling sorry for him when he bears the violence of people rather timidly. He can never be termed truly evil. In keeping with the ethos of Romanticism, Shelley shows that it is circumstances that force him to use his dormant aggression against people. He cannot be expected to respect or to love people when they loathe him. It is only then that he uses his strength to destroy the things around him. He becomes inflamed by a desire for vengeance. He must bring his creator to ruin, and after that, he must seek peace in death.

It is ironic that he, too, possesses the thirst for knowledge, quite like his master.

Robert Walton

The sea captain can be said to be an extension of Victor's personality. He is rather passionate about voyages and discoveries, and he will go to any extent to attain his goals. His purpose is commendable, but not the means he employs to achieve it.

The story of Victor's childhood runs parallel to Robert's. Both have books as companions, and both are highly passionate about their goals in life. Robert has an important lesson to learn from Victor's story. But Robert displays the typical human tendency not to learn a lesson the first time. He still asks Victor about the secret of creation, even though he has heard a tale of horrible suffering.

Caroline Frankenstein

This gentle, kind-hearted lady struggles all her life. She loses her father at a young age. She has to take care of him before his death and works extremely hard to make ends meet. Her efforts to survive are remarkable, particularly because she came from a rich family.

Alphonse enters into her life as a benefactor and a husband. Despite the age difference between them, they get along well, have three children and adopt one child, Elizabeth. Her benevolence is touching when she decides to save Elizabeth from a life of poverty. Her altruism leads to her death, as she falls ill after attending to her "more-than daughter," Elizabeth, who has scarlet fever.

M. Waldman

His mild manners and goodness win Victor's admiration. It is because of him that Victor changes his opinion about modern science and approaches his studies with great vigor. He is not contemptuous of Victor's having read Cornelius Agrippa and Albertus Magnus. Nevertheless, he encourages him to be a proper scientist.

Justine Moritz

Her character is very similar to Caroline's. 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 William's 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 mother's complaints, but she never complains herself. She even lets herself be blamed for her sibling's 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 Victor's ambition.

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