Clerval Character In Frankenstein

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The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley contains many well-written characters. The most interesting character has to be Henry Clerval. Clerval is well rounded because of his love for literature, relationships, and Victor Frankenstein. Clerval was written to be a foil for Frankenstein, but he truly is so much more. He is the perfect person and all of the other characters strive to be like him. Henry Clerval is the most interesting character in Frankenstein because of his loving relationships and his continued pursuits in literature. Throughout the novel, Clerval shows his love for relationships. Clerval loves everyone around him and they love him back because of it. Frankenstein enjoys Clerval’s company and considers him his best friend. Clerval …show more content…
His love for literature and languages shape him into a character that has a great imagination and one that takes pleasure from the small things in life. Even from the beginning Clerval’s childhood was filled with “books of chivalry and romance” (Shelley 23). As a child, he was described as a “poet” who “boasts of fairytales” (Fiddeyment). His love of languages blossomed into a desire to learn and study the great languages of the Far East. He enjoyed every minute of his studies because it fed his “wild and enthusiastic imagination” (Shelley 135) and made him happier than ever before. Just like Frankenstein, Clerval’s father did not approve of his chosen field of study, but unlike Frankenstein, Clerval listened to his father and did not jump into his studies immediately. He went to school to master all Oriental languages and was patient with his dreams (Hochuli). Clerval loves to learn languages and they make him enjoy nature and life more. When Frankenstein and Clerval go to London Clerval is in awe of the beauty around him. Frankenstein describes him as being “alive to every new scene” (Shelley 133) which fascinates him. During this part of the novel Frankenstein has hit an all-time low and seeing Clerval so light and happy makes him feel better. Literature and languages make Clerval appreciate the friends around him and the world he has yet to …show more content…
Their relationship goes beyond looking out for each other. Clerval is not only Frankenstein’s savior, but he is a literal beacon of light in Frankenstein’s dark world. Clerval is the helping hand to Frankenstein when he needs help and he leads Frankenstein away from darkness. Clerval is shown as his savior when Frankenstein is talking about Clerval to Walton and he says his restoration came “at the hands of his boyhood friend, Henry Clerval” (Cottom). The longer Frankenstein goes without seeing Clerval the further he plunges into evil. When Frankenstein is studying at Ingolstadt he goes without contact of Clerval for too long and he creates the creature. Frankenstein “races furiously down the path of unintentional self-destruction” (Fiddyment) without Clerval and does not stop until Clerval comes “to the rescue of his friend” (Fiddyment). Clerval’s goodness works as a counterbalance to Frankenstein’s darkness. Without him Frankenstein has no way to stand up to the evils in his life. Clerval “restores the senses of Victor” (Fiddyment) because he was written to be Frankenstein’s foil. Clerval’s purpose in the story is to keep Frankenstein from turning dark, but the farther away they are from each other the less likely Clerval can achieve his purpose. Frankenstein was consumed with depression and illness, so Clerval became “the main reason Victor was able to experience moments of happiness” (Morton).

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