Familial Relationships In Frankenstein

425 Words2 Pages
Domestic Relationships and Familial Roles in Frankenstein

Familial roles and gender roles are an important part of society, keeping a family together. Debra Best’s literary criticism, The Monster in the Family: a reconsideration of Frankenstein’s domestic relationships, of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, includes the analysis of each character’s relationship with each other, and especially their relationship with Victor. The familial roles of the Frankenstein’s seem to intertwine and imply incestuous relationships between Victor and his family. The crossing of the gender and familial roles also creates complications of Victor’s feelings. In this essay, I agree with Best’s criticism, Frankenstein’s domestic relationships create a sense of uncertainty
…show more content…
Victor’s parents’ relationship is what teaches Victor what a family should be. Because Victor’s mother died when Victor was a teen, Victor doesn’t learn the significance of a maternal figure. Elizabeth, Victor’s cousin, and adopted sister, takes on the role of mother, and later the role of his wife. The multiple roles Elizabeth possesses confuses Victor, marrying orphaned cousins wasn’t unusual for the time, but Victor rarely sees Elizabeth as a wife. “On it, I will consecrate myself, in life or death, to the happiness of my cousin” (Shelley, 187-188). Because of Caroline’s death, Victor does not feel a maternal figure is important, thus being the reason for Victor’s ignorance of Elizabeth after marriage, and while creating the monster on his own. Victor’s father was around most of Victor’s life, yet he did not support Victor. When Victor fell ill, his father did not visit him to take care of him. Clerval attends to Victor when he is sick, breaking gender norms by playing nurse. When Victor told his father about studying alchemy, he told Victor that he would be wasting his life. In Victor’s mind, being a good father is not being there for his son, the monster. Victor’s
Open Document