Importance of Family in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Topics: Frankenstein, English-language films, Novel Pages: 2 (458 words) Published: May 22, 2006
Everyone Needs a Family, Including The Wretch
In Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, families are a very important part of the structure of the book. Frankenstein's family is critical because the reason why the wretch was created lies within the family. Almost every family mentioned in the novel was either incomplete or dysfunctional. Frankenstein's family in particular was missing a female role. The Frankenstein family had no mother, but did have Elizabeth who was the only other female in the house. Elizabeth was adopted when she was a child. The Wretch was created because of this absence, not necessarily to fill the role of a mother, but to fill in the role of the missing family member. The Wretch is shunned away when he is animated, and this leads to bad things for the family.

Frankenstein's family was normal, he had a mother and a father, but later on when Elizabeth becomes sick with a fever, his mother nurses her back to health at the cost of her own life. Elizabeth is expected to fill in as the role of the mother by taking care of the young children. A mother is impossible to replace. Nor can a mother be bought, so Victor uses his knowledge from Ingolstadt to create a being to fill in that missing figure. When the wretch starts killing his family members one by one, he makes Victor contemplate the idea of what it is like to be without a loved one. Although this message doesn't actually get into Victor's mind, he decides to create the female monster just to get rid of the male monster. This selfish act by him is really what causes Elizabeth, now his wife, to die. With the death of Elizabeth, Victor loses himself to the act of revenge. He attempts all possible ways to kill the wretch, but the wretch is too powerful for him. The wretch's true intentions were to make his creator realize the need for a family. Every being deserves someone to love and someone to love them.

The need for an extra family member was the reason Victor created the wretch. Through various...
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