He is the main character, a man driven by ambition and scientific curiosity. His quest for absolute knowledge and power will eventually end in his own ruin.
Victor's bride. Elizabeth is presented as being angelically good and incomparably beauty: she represents ideal womanhood and its promises of love and comfort.
Victor's mother; a paradigm of motherly concern and generosity. Her death provides the catalyst for Victor's desire to transcend death. It is her last wish that Victor and Elizabeth be married.
Victor's father; yet another shining example of kindness and selflessness. His happiness depends on the happiness of his children. If they fail, he does as well; thus, their deaths prefigure his own.
The youngest son of the Frankenstein family. His death at the hands of the monster renders him a symbol of lost and violated innocence.
Victor's best friend since childhood. Fascinated with the history of mankind, he is Victor's intellectual opposite. He, too, will be murdered by the monster; he is perhaps a symbol of the destruction of Victor's own goodness and potential.
Though a servant in the Frankenstein household, she is more like a sister to Victor and Elizabeth. She is executed for William's murder, and thus becomes yet another martyr to lost virtue and innocence.
The Creature / The Monster
The work of Frankenstein's hands, the creature is his double, his persecutor, and his victim. The lives of him and his creator are inextricably entwined.
The reader's representative in the novel, he is the person to whom Victor relates his story. He has much in common with Victor: ambition, drive, and the desire for glory.
The head of the household observed by the creature, de Lacey has been robbed of his fortunes as a result of his own kindness. His blindness makes him capable of recognizing the creature's sincerity and goodness despite his hideous appearance.
The son of de Lacey, he is devoted to his family and his mistress, Safie. Though noble, he drives the creature from the family cottage with stones. He thereby symbolizes one of the basic flaws in the human character: the hatred of difference.
The daughter of De Lacey, she is an example of selfless womanhood, caring for her brother and her father despite their poverty and her own sadness.
The betrothed of Felix. She is presented as exotically beautiful, and is racially fetishized for her Turkishness. The de Lacey family wishes to marry her to Felix and convert her to Christianity.
Frankenstein Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Frankenstein is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
I admired virtue and good feelings and loved the gentle manners and amiable qualities of my cottagers, but I was shut out from intercourse with them, except through means which I obtained by stealth, when I was unseen and unknown,...
The lightning storm that greets Victor is a staple of Gothic narrative. It evokes the classical (not to mention clichéd) preamble to any ghost story: "It was a dark and stormy night..." It also reflects the state of imbalance and chaos in which...