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What is the social conflict seen between Victor Frankenstein/Henry and Victor...

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onnei | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 20, 2013 at 7:16 AM via web

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What is the social conflict seen between Victor Frankenstein/Henry and Victor Frankenstein/ Mr. Waldman? 

(From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein)

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM (Answer #1)

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein contains numerous accounts of conflict. The social conflict (the struggle for power) within the novel tends to focus upon Victor and his creation (the Creature/Monster). That said, no real social conflict seems to exist between Victor and both Henry and Mr. Waldman. 

Henry is described by Victor as "deeply read in books of chivalry and romance." Not of the scientific mind, as was Victor, Henry posed no challenge to Victor. Instead, Henry only wished to be near Victor and accompany him upon his voyages in order to be close to him. No power struggle existed between the two men. If a power struggle did exist between the men, Henry would most assuredly surrender to Victor as the predominant and superior male. 

As for any social conflict between Victor and Mr. Waldman, Victor regarded Waldman as very knowledgeable (at first). Later, after being inspired by Waldman, Victor is able to surpass his professor, by making "some discoveries in the improvement of some chemical instruments." Therefore, no social conflict exists between Victor and Waldman because Victor is found to be, and recognized as, mentally superior to his former teacher. 

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