Explain the relationship of Alphonse Frankenstein and Caroline Beaufort?Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As Victor Frankenstein commences his biographical count, he explains that his family is a most distinguished one; however, his father did not marry until later in life.  His wife is Caroline Beaufort, the daughter of one of his intimate friends who, having fallen from prosperity as a merchant into abject poverty.  Disgraced, he moved to the town of Lucerne where he tried to conceal his identity.

Mr. Frankenstein lost no time in seeking his old friend, and found him living a miserable existence.  Hope of seeking employment in a merchant' house did not prevent Beaufort from succumbing to despair and depression.  But, Caroline Beaufort, who was courageous, took employment wherever she could procure it until her father died.  Bereft and a pauper, she knelt by her father's coffin, weeping.  It was then that Victor's father found her and became "a protecting spirit to the poor girl."

As a husband, Victor's father, much the elder of his wife, was devoted to her, loving her "strongly."  He virtually adored her, revering her virtues and striving to make her life as comfortable as possible.  He also tried to shelter her from any harshness of life because the two years before her father's death had been devastating to her "soft and benevolent mind." And, once he retires from his public functions, he moves the family to the pleasant climate of Italy. In some ways, therefore, his relationship was fatherly; in other ways, he was the devoted husband.


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