Archetypes In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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An archetype is a typical action, character, or situation that can serve as a model or basis. Many pieces of literature contain a variety of archetypes. It is not uncommon for a novel to have characters that do not specifically fit into one archetype. While analyzing the character archetypes in the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, it was clear that many of the characters had multiple archetypes. Shelley uses different archetypes in the novel to thoroughly develop the characters. Shelley portrays the character, Victor Frankenstein as the Alchemist archetype and the Mad Scientist archetype. The main goal of the Alchemist archetype is to transform or create matter into a different form. Victor Frankenstein wants to break through the “ideal…show more content…
The Orphan archetype is usually a character who does not belong to anyone and has a longing to connect with others. A main struggle for The Wretch is the fact that his creator “abandoned [him]”(ch.15; 112). He felt this way because he has to fend for himself and has no one there to nurture him. While traveling solo, The Wretch finds himself to be ”helpless and alone”(ch.15; 110). Everyone is terrified of him because he is so repulsive and this results in him getting frustrated. The fact that he has no one to communicate with causes him to be helpless and miserable. While observing a family of cottagers, he begins to “admire[] [their] perfect forms”(find page). After studying them for a while he plans to meet them, which shows his desire to connect with humans.*** Another archetype for The Wretch is the Evil Figure with Ultimately Good Heart. Normally this archetypal character would end up being “good” because the hero would save him from evil. It did not end exactly like that, but he still fits best with this archetype. The Wretch argues that he used to be“ benevolent and good” and that “misery made [him] a fiend”(ch.10; 82). He is trying to say that he has a kind heart, but has turned evil because he is
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