How are the minor characters in Frankenstein important?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Minor characters help to move the plot forward, but many times they also serve other purposes. Henry Clerval serves as one of the victims of the monster, but he's also shown as a contrast of Victor because he's willing to provide protection and comfort to Victor when Victor isn't willing to do the same for his own creation. The creature learns what love and kindness are from the DeLacey family, but the family also shows the horror that people in society have toward the creature. The language lessons taught to Safie also teach the monster to speak. Mr. DeLacey, the blind father, is the only character who is kind to the creature, showing that if people wouldn't judge the creature by its appearance, they would be able to see how kind and lonely it is. Victor's parents are loving parents, but they have spoiled Victor into being extremely selfish. They also represent the outside world when Victor gets so involved in his experiments. Victor's brother, William, and Justine are used as victims, one the victim of the creature and one the victim of Victor's selfishness when he allows Justine to take the blame for William's death. Ellizabeth is another contrast to Victor's selfish behavior and a victim of the creature. M. Waldman inspires Victor to conduct his experiments, but he is also a stark contrast as a scientist.