Frankenstein - Every one needs a family


In Mary Shelly?s Frankenstein, families are a very important part of the structure of the novel. Frankenstein?s family is critical because the reason why the monster was created lies within the family. Almost every family mentioned in the novel was either incomplete or was dysfunctional. Frankenstein?s family in particular was missing a female role. The Frankenstein family had no mother, but they did have Elizabeth who was the only other female in the house and she was adopted when she was just a child. The monster was created because of this absence, not necessarily to fill the role of the mother, but to fill in the role of the missing family member. However, the monster is shunned away when he is animated and the fall of the Frankenstein family awaits them.
Victor Frankenstein?s family was normal to begin with. He had a mother and a father, but later on when Elizabeth becomes sick with a fever, his mother nurses her back to health at the cost of her own life. On her deathbed, Victor?s mom says, "Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to my younger children. Alas! I regret that I am taken from you; and, happy and beloved as I have been, is it not hard . . . a hope of meeting you in another world" (42). Elizabeth is expected to fill in as the role of the mother by taking care of and protecting the young children. Although she replaces the role of the mother, there is still the fact that a family member is missing. A mother is impossible to replace; you can?t have a stepmother because she will never be a replacement for an original mother. Nor can a mother be bought, but Victor uses his knowledge from Ingolstadt to create a being to fill in that missing figure.
In the later part of the novel, the monster stumbles upon a family where he learns the basics of living and surviving. The monster is very intelligent and can learn at a exceedingly rapid rate. The family that he crosses is the De Lacey family. This family is also incomplete because they are also missing a mother figure here. Yet they have a substitute as does the Frankenstein family has. For the De Lacey family, Agatha, the sister, plays the womanly role here. Felix her brother always takes care of her and tries to make life as easiest as possible even though they have gone through many hardships. The problems that this family faces are numerous indeed. Their father is blind and cannot help them in any way. Besides this fact, the De Lacey family was expelled from their native land and forced to live in poverty in a foreign place. "He did not succeed. They remained confined for five months before the trial took place; the result of which deprived them of their fortune and condemned them to a perpetual exile from their native county" (122). During the time of the exile, Felix was unable to see his loved one, just like while Victor was away studying, they both could not see the one they cared for. The monster at this time learns of emotion and compassion. He can sympathize with his "benefactors" and he also wants to help them, but he can?t because of his appearance. The missing family member of the De Lacey?s is directly correlated with the missing family member of the Frankenstein?s. The existence of the De Lace?s in the novel proves that Mary Shelly wanted to include the importance of a family and how being close in a family can make everyone happy. This happiness that Victor is trying so hard to pursue by creating the monster.
Near the end of the novel, the Monster requests from Victor to create for him, a female counterpart. When the Monster says, "You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being. This you alone can do; and I do demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede"(140). The Monsters longing for a person he can communicate with is very important. It signifies that he wants to be included in some kind of family situation as he has observed from before. He