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The Family Relationship Frankenstein English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 2056 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The family relationship is the most vital kind of intimate relationship across all of humanity. The lack of this kind of relationship fails to mould a human being to being what they are supposed to be. It distorts the essence of human nature. The emotional feel is never present in any human being whose upbringing and everyday life lacks the closeness and the feel of family intimacy.

This paper will focus mainly on the essence of the family relationship and the outcome of the lack of this relationship ties among human beings. The themes of revenge, anguish and betrayal will also be discussed with regard to the novel Frankenstein.

Frankenstein is a novel that was written in the year 1818 by Mary Shelley. The novel was written after the author’s experience in Lake Geneva in Switzerland where she had gone together with her love for a visit. The work started off as a short story but through the persistence encouragement by her love, Percy, it developed into a novel. The development of the novel has had so much criticism and has also gained popularity over time which can be portrayed by the theatrical and film/ television productions.

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Frankenstein is a novel that addresses several thematic perspectives depending on what the reader perceives as the thematic effects of their contemporary society. The novel expresses the themes of revenge, family intimacy, the politics in relationships and even betrayal as some of the more central themes. The characters in the novel are also well designed to bring to book the development of the plot and the eventual delivery of the intended thematic effects.

The novel is basically a frame narrative that incorporates narrations of two characters, Victor Frankenstein and Walter. The novel starts off with Victors narrative and then ends with the narration form Walter. In the narrative by Victor the ‘monster’ also gives a narrations but this is brought out through the mouth of Victor.

The novel basically surrounds the life of Frankenstein and the continued love that he had for education. The novel also focuses on the results of this unending hunger for education and performing experiments. The creation of the monster in the novel is as a result of the experiments that Frankenstein performs resulting to the creation of the monstrous being.

It is the creation of the monster that spurs the action in the noel and also that which builds up to the climax. The climax of which is the turning point within the novel and the point where the emotive effects in the novel come pouring to the discretion of the reader.

To properly bring out the real essence of this paper, it is imperative that a critical look is given to the events that surrounded the activities in the novel and the also in the development of the plot and sub sequential themes in the novel. Of main focus though in this paper will be the effect of alienation of human beings from their family structures or dynamics.

In the novel, Mary Shelley portrays Victor Frankenstein as a character that hails from a very wealthy family. He has two brothers of which the younger one is called William and the other Ernest. Their parents later adopted another child Elizabeth who Frankenstein is infatuated with, when he is five years. According to Victor they had been living in a very safe environment that is also surrounded by the presence of a very happy and warm family. This however starts to change when her sister, whom she calls cousin, Elizabeth gets the scarlet fever. During her nursing period, Frankenstein’s mother contracts the disease which finally kills. The death of his mother spells the beginning of the misfortunes he experiences in his life. This however does not deter his performance in school where he goes ahead and excels in the university.

The pursuit of knowledge leads him to learn more on the works of Paracelsus, Albertus Magnus among others. The studies he does reveal and entrench a new yearning to learn more about galvanism which is an ancient chemical experiment done in the 1700’s and that which could imbue inanimate bodies with life.

It is after the greater pursuit of learning and the ultimate urge of creating an animate being from the inanimate bodies that he comes up with the creation of the monster (87). Several outcomes are brought about by his new creation, which he later abandons, that count to making the novel have a flow and also count to the development of the central theme of family relationships. This is perfectly also brought about by the intimacies that form the basis of almost every scene in the novel.

The actuality of the monster’s contribution to the main theme in the novel, are brought to light in the woodshed scene. In this scene, the monster, as he narrates to Victor was spying on the De Lacey family where he got so much educated about the humanistic way of life. It is also from this narration that the monster reveals the fear he had for humans and the loneliness he felt thanks to the rejection by the humans and also by his own creator who had abandoned him (161).

The effect of family relationship and how important a family is to human beings is brought out clearly in this part of the novel. On the monsters side of the story, the feeling of loneliness was a result of being abandoned by his creator and also as a result of his horrific appearance. The monster on observing the De Lacey family came to be educated on the importance of the family ties in ones life. He sees the love that is shared by De Lacey and his daughter Saffie and also the love between Felix and Saffie. In fact, the observations he made at the cottage reveal a different persona within him, he becomes more passionate and even tries to seek intimate relationships with the humans. His every attempt however is shunned by the very humans he is trying to become intimate with. This imposes on him a feeling of rejection. For instance, when he tries to rescue the girl who had almost drowned by the river, he is shot by a man who greatly wounds him. It is at this point that he gets fed up at trying to be intimate with the humans and promises to revenge the abandonment by his creator and the failed attempts of overcoming loneliness.

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The essence of a relationship to human beings is very vital. Owing to the fact that the monster was created from a large number of human organs makes him nearer to a human being than an animal or a monster. This is why when the monster meets with his creator Frankenstein; he demands the creation of a partner, one whom they would share love and an intimate relationship with. Victor starts the creation of the partner but on critical thinking of the actions of the monster, retreats his work and even destroys the creation. This in turn spurs anger to the monster who vows to revenge the pain upon his creator. He does this by killing all the loved ones that Frankenstein had.

From the narration by Frankenstein we find that the monster had really lacked proper education form his creator and upon the observation of the events from the woodshed in the cottage nearby gets enlightened. The monster becomes more intelligent and even perfectly articulates his thoughts as to the observations he makes while at the cottage. The events that he narrates are to bring out the importance of family to an individual. The monster intelligently creates a paradox of the De Laceys to the Frankensteins. He described certain instances where love was the driving force to certain actions such as Felix saving Saffie and De Lacey taking Saffie with him and abandoning Felix (128).

The novel clearly portrays the emotional abandonment that the monster has which he later ensures is felt by Victor. The monster does this by killing all the possible sources for happiness to Victor and thus brings him to the same level as he is in. In fact, Frankenstein does not have enough energy to withhold the pressure and thus he yields and succumbs as a lonely and very sad man. The end of the novel contradicts the beginning where Frankenstein portrays himself as from a very happy and stable family. The reality brought out is that though they were a wealthy family they were not necessarily happy. His mother dies when she contracts the scarlet fever and then the brother William follows and lastly due o shock and anguish the father also dies. In real sense, with all those deaths it is hard for any family to feign happiness. The monster further tortures Frankenstein’s feelings when he kills Elizabeth.

As Colene Bentley put it, the monster had become an intellect and the critical faculties were now refined. This is to show the essence of education and the importance of the cottage. The cottage in the novel is the turning point of the monster’s life and it is from the critical observations that he realises the hatred that human beings have towards which he tries to rectify though in vain. From the narrations that are from the cottage it is imperative to note that the monster has had a chance to internalize all the lessons that he learns form the family in the cottage. For instance he learns that he has no identity, no language and no intimacy in his life.

As Lee puts it, the monster was in true abandoned making him ache with pain and displeasure almost constantly in his life. When, he tries to make things right with he human beings so that they could accord him some intimacy all does not go well and is in fact shot at some point and greatly wounded.

From the narration also we learn that the acquisition of education can either have a good or bad outcome. In the novel we find that Frankenstein was a very determined scholar and thus worked to create an animate being out of the inanimate, which he does though not to his expectation. The end product of the experimentations results to anguish in his life.

On the other hand, the monsters education is also disastrous. Yes, it is a good thing that the monster has got to know who his creator was and also has become aware of the importance of family ties within the life of a human being. However, it is because of the enlightenment that he now has that leads him to acting in very unacceptable ways with an intention to avenge for his emotional despair.

To conclude, it is imperative to have an overview of some of the crucial elements discussed in the paper. For instance, the paper discusses the element of family relationships and the power of these family ties in the life of every human being. In the novel, there are several aspects that can greatly explain the essence of family relationship. In the families of Frankenstein and De Lacey, we see a great portrayal of family relationships. The monster however is lonely and places the blame of his loneliness top his creator, Victor Frankenstein. He learns the essence of intimacy form the observations of the cottage that housed the De Lacey family. Another attribute that is in the paper and that which is of paramount importance regards the effects of education. Education is meant to bring prosperity and positive change in the society. In the novel however, we find so much negativity and destruction that is brought forth by education. For instance, the creation of the monster is negative owing tot he fact that the monster later becomes destructive causing so much murder. To the monster also the enlightenment that he has had while at the cottage has led him to change the perception he had against human beings and thus vows to destroy them. He resorts to the vow after several attempts of building rapport with the human beings fails. The novel is basically an eye opener tot the very things we take for granted like the power of education and the essence of family ties in the society. The aspect of revenge greatly portrays the extent to which human beings can go for the sake of having some affection in their lives. The consequences of a bad education and also of that which is interrupted are so enormous in that they will always lead to dissatisfaction which may result to a lot of destructions by the aggrieved party.


Shelley, M. (1818) Frankenstein. London: Harding, Mavor & Jones


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