Who is Safie in Frankenstein?

Expert Answers

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

Safie is a friend of the DeLacey family, the daughter of a duplicitous Turkish merchant who was unjustly sentenced to death and a Christian Arab woman. Felix desired to helped the merchant, and the merchant offered all manner of reward to him. Felix found these offers unnecessary and contemptuous, but he quickly fell in love with Safie (who was allowed to visit her father in jail). The merchant perceived this, and he offered Felix Safie's hand in marriage upon his release. Felix helped the merchant to escape and he conducted the father and daughter to safety. Safie grew to care for Felix during this time. Felix learned that his own father and sister had been thrown in a Paris prison because of Felix's actions. Felix turned himself in, hoping to free his family, but they were all tried and exiled. Safie made her way to find Felix in Germany, as she still clearly loves him, and he loves her.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Safie is a minor character in Shelley's Frankenstein. She is a Turkish young woman in exile due to political disfavor. She lives in the cabin with Felix and his family, where they house her and teach her English. Through their lessons to Safie, the Monster learns language and history.

However, Safie is more than just a plot device. She is a kind of double for the Monster in some ways. Both are outsiders who have been rejected and face hostility from others. The key difference is that Safie is beautiful and therefore more easily accepted by others like Felix. The Monster is ugly and frightening, so no one takes pity on his situation. This shows how shallow society is in dealing with those in need.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team