In chapters 1 and 2 of Frankenstein, what are three specific words Victor uses to describe Elizabeth and Henry Clerval?

In chapters 1 and 2 of Frankenstein, three specific words which Victor uses to describe Elizabeth and Henry Clerval are beautiful, saintly, and "[lover of] enterprise."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Particularly when compared to the creature, the words which Victor uses to describe Elizabeth and Henry reflect innocence and goodness.



Elizabeth Lavenza became the inmate of my parents’ house—my more than sister—the beautiful and adored companion of all my occupations and my pleasures.

The Frankensteins found young Elizabeth living with peasants, and Victor's mother immediately fell in love with this "lovely girl." She decided to bring this child who was "fairer than a garden rose" home with her.


The saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our peaceful home.

Elizabeth was adopted into the Frankenstein home, and from her earliest days, the family considers her an angelic presence among them. Her eyes are described as "celestial," and her voice is "soft."


Elizabeth was of a calmer and more concentrated disposition.

Victor recalls that even as a child, he was "deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge." Elizabeth, by comparison, was drawn to the beauties of nature, reflecting an inner peace which Victor lacked.


Henry doesn't appear until chapter 2 and is only briefly mentioned in that chapter, though he will become a key character, particularly as his own personality is shown to contrast Victor's. He is the "son of a merchant" from Geneva. Henry loves "enterprise, hardship, and danger." He and Victor are alike in this regard, though they will tackle their passions with quite different methods as they grow older. Henry enjoys reading "books of chivalry and romance" and "composes heroic songs"; this part of his personality is similar to Elizabeth, who also enjoys the arts.

These two characters are among those whom Victor loves most in the world, and their propensity for goodness contrasts Victor's own work to construct a creature from human body parts.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial