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How do people react to Elizabeth and how does Victor feel about her in...

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soccrchik22 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:17 AM via web

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How do people react to Elizabeth and how does Victor feel about her in Frankenstein?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:15 AM (Answer #1)

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In the book Frankenstein, Victor grew up with Elizabeth since they were children. They were each others best friend that grew into romance and love as they grew older. Frankenstein loves her very dearly and enjoys being with her, but he loves something more, his ambition at being the first person to create the perfect human. As a result he allows his relationship with Elizabeth to fall to the wayside.

Victor generally takes Elizabeth for granted and seems to know that she will wait around until he returns.

Elizabeth is a very gentle and caring person whom everyone seems to care for and love. She endears herself to Victor's family after the death of her parents which is why they begin to raise her.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:31 AM (Answer #2)

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Elizabeth is a constant joy to the Frankenstein family; in fact, the parents have always hoped that Victor would marry this lovely girl who comes to the defence of Justine Moritz, the accused murderer of William Frankenstein.  Even Victor, who knows that Justine is innocent is not as willing as Elizabeth to defend her.  That he dissembles around Elizabeth is, indeed, an indictment against the integrity of Victor.  In Chapter 7 he tells Elizabeth

'She [Justine]is innocent, my Elizabeth...and that shall be prove; fear nothing, but let your spirits be cheered by the assurance of her acquittal.'

Yet, selfishly, Victor Frankenstein does not come forward with the truth; instead, he leads Elizabeth to believe that he is "kind and generous."

This selfishness is also blatantly evident after the creature tells Frankenstein will be with him on his wedding night, and Victor refrains from telling sweet Elizabeth anything.  Fatefully, she becomes a sacrificial victim to the ego of Victor Frankenstein. At the end of Chapter 7 Victor even accuses himself:

Thus spoke my prophetic soul, as, torn by remorse, horror, and despair, I beheld those I loved spend vain sorrow upon the grave of William and Justine the first hapless victims to my unhallowed arts.

Elizabeth, the lovely girl who "possesses a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can,"--he loves her --becomes a sacrificial victim for the creature of Victor, "the author of unalterable evil."

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM (Answer #3)

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In Shelley's Frankenstein, people seem to love Elizabeth, including Victor. 

She is accepted by the family who takes her in (Victor's, of course), and considered a vital part of the family.

Furthermore, it is assumed and hoped that some day Elizabeth and Victor will marry.  That's how highly thought of she is.

And Victor considers her the perfect woman to be his wife.  Even after he is gone for years and been through all that he goes through (creating a creature, creating a second creature then destroying it before he brings her to life, having his best friend killed, etc.) he still returns to marry her.  And it is not just an arranged marriage.  He openly talks about his love for her.   

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