The Symbolism Of Children In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Nature is quintessential to the concept of romanticism. Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, during the late romantic period, used nature symbols when writing her novel. One of the major symbols in the novel is children. Children are a romantic symbol, as they display youth and innocence. During the period of romanticism, the natural purity of children stood out amongst the ever growing mechanical and scientific life of adults. Children represent everything that is good and light in the dark world around them. In the beginning of the book, Caroline and Alphonse discover orphaned child Elizabeth Lavenza on their trip to Italy, “The infant was placed with these good people to nurse: they were better off then.” (30) Out of the ragged dark haired children, Elizabeth stands out with her beauty and her glowing blonde hair “her hair was the brightest living gold, and despite the poverty of her clothing, seemed to set a crown of distinction on her head.”(30) Elizabeth is a symbol of purity, as she is described as: lovely, sympathetic, and composed. Victor sets Elizabeth above all others, and even refers to her as a somewhat goddess. “Her sympathy was ours; her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us.” (33) Similar to children, Elizabeth was pure unlike other…show more content…
Victor loves and cherishes the beautiful Elizabeth, who was a child brought from rags to riches. However the monster, Victor's own creation and child, is constantly neglected and belittled by his creator for being and looking different. The monster and Elizabeth are both share qualities similar to children in the romantic period, as they both are unique and stand out in the world whether it be of beauty or hideousness. Both are innocent creatures of nature, however, their opposite upbringings influenced their actions to society and its
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