Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley

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In the novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley paints an image of a man who, driven by the desire to attain knowledge, creates a veritable monster. This man is Victor Frankenstein and is far from the flat characters of many modern-day novels; in fact, he shows many aspects of a deep personality, making him a very realistic character in that, like most human beings, he is neither wholly good nor wholly evil but has good intentions which, because of his flaws, result in his undoing. Throughout the main sections of the story – his initial family life, his time at Ingolstadt, and the time of and period after the creation of the Creature – Frankenstein’s faceted personality is revealed to the reader as he describes his reactions to different events.
During his blissful childhood and early teenage years, five base characteristics of Frankenstein’s personality are revealed which provide a foundation for his actions later on in the story. Thefirst of these which we see is his optimism toward his family. Most only children, when faced with the possibility of losing the full attention of their parents, become envious of that which takes the attention away from them. This is not the case with Victor: When Elizabeth is adopted, he is not only not envious of her, but loves her dearly and gives her the same devoted kindness that his parents do. Similarly, when his brother William is born, Frankenstein dotes on him as the rest of his family does.
Tied in with this familial love is the protectiveness that Frankenstein feels toward those he cares for – particularly Elizabeth. When Caroline Frankenstein prepares to adopt Elizabeth,
she tells young Victor that she has a gift for him. "And when, on the morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally, and looked upon Elizabeth as mine – mine to protect, love, and cherish. Al…