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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I suppose this matter is up for debate, and that issues of feminism, patriarchy, Romantic/Gothic portrayals of love, etc. would have to enter into the conversation. However, I would argue that yes, Elizabeth does love Victor. In fact, her entire voice in the novel consists of expressing her love for Victor. From the beginning, her character is established as Victor's mate; there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the two will be wed. Of course, that does not imply love, but Elizabeth's words to her betrothed certainly do. Consider her letter to Victor before his return to Geneva. After asking if he loves another woman, she writes:

I confess to you, my friend, that I love you and that in my airy dreams of futurity you have been my constant friend and companion. But it is your happiness I desire as well as my own when I declare to you that our marriage would render me eternally miserable unless it were the dictate of your own free choice. Even now I weep to think that, borne down as you are by the cruellest misfortunes, you may stifle, by the word honour, all hope of that love and happiness which would alone restore you to yourself. I, who have so disinterested an affection for you, may increase your miseries tenfold by being an obstacle to your wishes. Ah! Victor, be assured that your cousin and playmate has too sincere a love for you not to be made miserable by this supposition.

Notice the words in bold. It would be hard to say that she does not love Victor after reading this passage. Now, what the implications are for her character is another story...but I would say that it is safe to assume she loves him.

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