Frankenstein has a perfect childhood in Switzerland, with a loving family that even adopted orphans in need, including the beautiful Elizabeth, who soon becomes Victor’s closest friend, confidante, and love. The oldest son in the Frankenstein family, the eventual husband of Elizabeth Lavenza, and the novel’s protagonist and narrator of most of the story (he tells his story to Robert Walton, who relates it to the reader). From childhood, Victor has a thirst for knowledge and powerful ambition. Frankenstein claims to be a novel that gives a flattering depiction of “domestic affection.” That seems a strange claim in a novel full of murder, tragedy, and despair. But, in fact, all that tragedy, murder, and despair occur because of a lack of connection to either family or society. It should come as no surprise, then, that crises and suffering result when, in Frankenstein, imperfect men disturb nature’s perfection. Frankenstein presents many examples of the corruption of youthful innocence. The most obvious case of lost innocence involves Victor. Frankenstein was published anonymously in London in 1818. It attracted immediate interest because it was generally assumed to be the work of the latest young rebel poet in town, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who certainly signed his name to the book’s Preface. Frankenstein is a horrific story of how one brilliant man, after discovering the secret of life, builds and animates a hideous Creature which he then rejects in disgust.
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