how would you characterize Victor’s childhood? How did his parents raise him? In what ways did they educate him?
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Frankenstein begins his tale, sensibly enough, with his childhood: he is from a wealthy and well-respected Swiss family. His parents met, he tells us, when his father went in search of a dear old friend. This man, named Beaufort, had fallen into poverty and obscurity; when the elder Frankenstein finally found him, he was entirely wretched and very near death. His daughter, Caroline, attended to him with an almost religious devotion. Upon Beaufort's death, Caroline turned to Master Frankenstein for comfort, and the pair returned to Geneva together; a few years later, they were married. During the first years of their marriage, the Frankensteins traveled constantly, for the sake of Caroline's fragile health. They divided their time among Germany, Italy, and France; their first child, Victor, was born in Naples, Italy. Victor was adored by his parents, and he adored them in turn; his childhood, from the very first, was wholly idyllic. Until he was five, Victor was an only child, and both he and his parents felt the absence of other children strongly.
Caroline Frankenstein made a habit of visiting the poor: since she herself had been saved from poverty, she felt it her duty to improve the lot of those who did not share her good fortune. One day, she discovered an angelic girl-child, with fair skin and golden hair, living with a penniless Italian family. As the girl was an orphan, and her adoptive family lacked the means to care for her, the Frankensteins determined to raise the child as their own. The child, whose name was Elizabeth Lavenza, became Victor's sister and his constant companion, as well as the object of his unquestioning worship. For him, she is his most beautiful, most valuable possession.