Archetypes in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Essay

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Virtually all literature contain instinctive trends in the human consciousness to represent certain themes or motifs, these are defined as archetypes. Archetypes can be thought as blueprints or as bundles of psychic energy that influence the manner in which we understand and react to life. There are two different categories of archetypes, the plot archetype and the character archetype. The orphan, martyr, wanderer, warrior, magician, villain, wise child, temptress, rebel, underdog, fool, saint,

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“She sometimes begged Justine to forgive her unkindness but much often accused her of having caused the deaths of her brother and sister” (Shelly, 51). Madame Moritz is an example of a terrible parent because she disliked and did not care for her daughter Justine. Elizabeth’s Aunt Caroline Beaufort adopted Elizabeth and Justin into the Frankenstein family and is considered to be a great mother. “My aunt conceived a great attachment for her, by which she was induced to give her an education superior to that which she had at first intended” (Shelley, 50). Caroline Beaufort the mother of Frankenstein is an example of a great mother because she adopted, loved, and educated Elizabeth and Justin, and sacrifices herself for her children. The character archetype ‘great/terrible’ parent is used in the novel, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, by various characters including Victor Frankenstein, Madame Moritz, and Caroline Beaufort.

The book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is comprised with the archetype of the ‘wanderer’. The ‘wanderer’ is another character archetype that is used in many different types of literatures including novels. The ‘wanderer’ can be easily characterized by somebody in the novel or literature that is seeking knowledge. The ‘wanderer’ typically carries traits of ambition, loneliness, and the need to explore the unknown. Victor Frankenstein
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