Frankenstein’s love for Elizabeth is selfish. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is in love with Elizabeth Lavenza. The question at hand asks if the love Victor had for her is selfish or not. I, for one, would say no.

I do not think that Victor's love for her is selfish based upon the fact of his falling in love with her at such a young age. He recalls the fact that his mother wished for them to be married.

"My children," she said, "my firmest hopes of future happiness were placed on the prospect of your union. This expectation will now be the consolation of your father. Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to my younger children.

Victor, loving his mother very much, looked upon this death-bed wish with a honest heart. It was Elizabeth's actions later that seemed to solidify his feelings for her.

She indeed veiled her grief, and strove to act the comforter to us all. She looked steadily on life, and assumed its duties with courage and zeal. She devoted herself to those whom she had been taught to call her uncle and cousins. Never was she so enchanting as at this time when she recalled the sunshine of her smiles and spent them upon us. She forgot even her own regret in her endeavours to make us forget.

Therefore, I cannot believe that the love Victor has for Elizabeth is selfish. If anything, his love inspired by what he learned from a very different place--it was inspired by what he learned of love from his mother.

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