In Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," what is meant by the statement "I have a pretty present for my Victor -- tomorrow he shall have it."?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the main characters in "Frankenstein" is Victor's cousin, Elizabeth."  The Frankensteins are a close family, and Victor, his father, and his younger brother are all elated at the news that Elizabeth is coming to live with them:

"Everyone loved Elizabeth.  The passionate and almost reverential attachment with which all regarded her became, while I shared it, my pride and delight.  On the evening previous to her being brought to my home, my mother had said playfully, 'I have a pretty present for my Victor -- tomorrow he shall have it.'  And when, on the morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally and looked upon Elizabeth as mine..."

"Frankenstein" is a tragedy, an early and important contribution to gothic literature.  That a terrible foreboding hangs over the novel's proceedings is evident from the beginning, but the fate of the beautiful and kind Elizabeth marks the nadir of Victor's existence.

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