Frankenstein Questions and Answers
by Mary Shelley

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How is Victor's friend Henry Clerval different from Victor in terms of their study and interests in Frankenstein?

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Henry Clerval is every bit as intelligent as Victor Frankenstein, if not more so. However, his intelligence is combined with a deeply compassionate nature that sets him apart from his more egoistic friend. Whereas Victor's moral compass has catastrophically lost its bearings, Henry's remains in full working order throughout the story.

To a large extent, this is because Henry's studies don't lead him into the kind of moral dilemmas that Victor is forced to struggle with due to his scientific experiments. Henry has no interest in science; his vivid imagination is too vast to concern itself with the minutiae of "natural philosophy" (an old-fashioned expression for science). Instead, he prefers to study Eastern languages such as Persian, Arabic, and Hebrew, while also mastering Greek and Latin into the bargain.

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Clearly a foil to the science-oriented Victor Frankenstein, Henry Clerval possesses all the qualities of a male friend in the Romantic period.

Whereas Victor Frankenstein inquiries are...

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