In Frankenstein, what is Beaufort's relationship to Alphonse, Caroline, and Victor?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beaufort is Alphonse's close friend, and Caroline's father. Thus, he is Victor's grandfather. This story is told by Victor to Robert Walton, thus it is filtered to us through his view. Victor is a member of a wealthy, influential family; his father, Alphonse Frankenstein, was involved in politics. Alphonse was very close with a man named Beaufort, one of his best friends in fact, who was a successful merchant for years. Unfortunately, he lost his business and fell very ill. He withdrew from society and his friends, and lived in poverty for many years.

Beaufort’s daughter, Caroline, takes care of her father until his death. She does menial labor, plaiting straw, making very little, in order to support her father and herself. Before Beaufort dies, Alphonse tracks him down, and finds him living with Caroline in a miserable hut. Beaufort is incredibly ashamed of his situation, which is why he cut off all contact in the first place. Alphonse does what he can to care for his old friend, until Beaufort's death. Afterward, Alphonse took care of Caroline and eventually married her. Alphonse had long admired Caroline’s virtues; he wanted to provide a comfortable home for her, and give her the happy life he felt she deserved but had long been denied.

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