The Importance Of Childhood In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Could you imagine being a child that is eight foot tall? Childhood and adolescence are two factors that affect the rest of one’s life. Each and every child goes through a different childhood. One might grow up in times of innocence and a sense of wonder, and another might grow up in times of tribulation and terror. The contrast between Victor’s idyllic childhood and the Creature’s isolated upbringing affects their development throughout the novel. Victor’s parents covered him in attention whereas the Creature’s childhood was mortifying for him. Throughout the Gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses various characters to portray the contrast of different childhoods one could go through.
Victor Frankenstein comes from a very wealthy family
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We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed. When I mingled with other families, I distinctly discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was, and gratitude assisted the development of filial love” (Shelley 23). He knows he is blessed with a delightful childhood with the love and care from his parents. Victor’s childhood was very pleasant until his mother passes away from scarlet fever when he is just 17. “During his convalescence, Frankenstein explains to Walton his presence in this desolate region and tells him an almost unbelievable life story. He recounts his birth into a prominent Geneva family, his childhood in a happy home with loving parents, a younger brother, and an adopted little sister. Stung by his mother's premature death during his early manhood, Frankenstein brooded on the nature of life” (Phy). Frankenstein’s younger years of his childhood is portrayed as everything being good and pleasurable. Once his mother passes away, things aren’t as great for Victor. Mary Shelley lost her mother 4 weeks after she was born. Frankenstein’s mother’s death relates to the author’s …show more content…
After Victor creates the Creature, he is frightened. “I traversed the streets, without any clear conception of where I was, or what I was doing. My heart palpitated in the sickness of fear, and I hurried on with irregular steps, not daring to look about in me--” (Shelley 45). Victor is not as loving and caring to the Creature as his parents were to him. With Victor acting afraid to even lay eyes on the Creature, he does not feel loved or cared about. The author of the critical article “Parent-Child Tensions in Frankenstein”, Laura P. Claridge explains Victor’s abusive actions towards his Creature which displays the kind of treatment that the Creature endured during his childhood. “Frankenstein's abuse of his monster; strangely enough, however, they have tended to ignore the precedent within his own family for Victor's later actions, as well as the familial tensions that Walton, Victor's shadow self, implies. Such critical shortsightedness has inevitably resulted in textual analyses that fail to account for the complexity of this novel” (Claridge). This kind of conduct toward the Creature is what shapes his childhood. Claridge explains that they have ignored the model within their own family which also displays that the Creature’s childhood is completely and utterly ruined with his constant downgrading feelings about himself. Laura P. Claridge explains in

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