Childhood In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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A child's first steps towards the future are taken in the home, during childhood. These experiences shape their existence for the rest of their lives. Jean Hall says that “The family may help the child grow up...loving...or a tyrant” meaning that events in a childhood growing can change a mind forever. This fact holds ground in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as both Victor and Elizabeth's childhood and the Creatures “childhood” are vastly different; which propel them down acutely unlike paths.Shelley created these differences in childhood to shape the book to her overall messages: Commentaries on society’s emphasis on wealth and appearance, and the theme of Nature vs Nurture.
Firstly, Victor and Elizabeth’s childhood reflect the main meaning
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These showing in the two distinct childhoods of Victor and the Creature. Victor delineates Nature, as his upbringing in childhood follows his parents before him, mainly wealthy and filled with much adoration. His ancestry supports this, as his father's line of family“for many years counsellors and syndics”(Shelley 1), lofty positions for learned, wealthy individuals. This reveals Victors characteristics are inherited, such as his incurable drive for knowledge. Things noticeably differentiate in the Nurture side with the creature, as in his “childhood” he has no connection to any figure, only the domain around him. As he sets out alone alone, he knows nothing of the world and is impressionable as a newborn. The Creature must learn from small bits of information he gleans from the De Lacys and history in books such as paradise lost(Shelley 112). The environment he lived in taught him everything he knew, affecting and creating his mindset. Therein lies the key difference between Victor and the Creatures childhoods, that Victor never changed from his childhood where the creature in his learning drastically changed: from a being who wanted acceptance to a being who swore “eternal vengeance to all mankind”(Shelley
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