Frankenstein Chapter 1 Analysis

Michael Bovenzi

Characters

This chapter marks a change in narrator to Victor Frankenstein, and much of his backstory is revealed. Victor is shown to be a very kind man who has a strong sense of duty to protect those he loves, going far enough to claim Elizabeth as his own and feel responsible for her.

Victor's parents, Alphonse and Caroline, are introduced in this chapter as loving parents who cared very deeply for Victor.

Elizabeth is introduced in this chapter. Victor develops a deep love for her, seeing her as someone he must protect.

Themes developed

The theme of compassion is developed in this chapter with Elizabeth and Frankenstein's interactions.

"...I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally and looked upon Elizabeth as mine - mine to protect, love, and cherish."

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Literary Techniques

Romantic elements are used in Frankenstein's initial description of Elizabeth. (Pg. 17) This is significant because it shows how deeply Frankenstein cares for her.

Simile is used on page 16, in the quote "He strove to shelter her, as a fair exotic is sheltered by the gardener, from every rougher wind,..." This is significant because it shows how much Frankenstein's parents loved each other.

Important Quotes

"I, their eldest child, was born at Naples, and as an infant accompanied them in their rambles. I remained for several years their only child." (Pg. 16) - This quote is important because it foreshadows that Frankenstein will soon have a brother or sister. It also implies that Frankenstein will become more distant and detached as the years go by and he is not the center of attention.

"I was their plaything and their idol, and something better - their child, the innocent and helpless creature bestowed upon them by heaven, whom to bring up to good, and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct me to happiness or misery, according as they fulfilled their duties towards me." (Pg. 16) - This quote is important because it shows that Frankenstein's parents love him very much. It develops their characters.

"...I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally and looked upon Elizabeth as mine - mine to protect, love, and cherish." (Pg. 18) - This quote is important because it establishes Frankenstein as a character with a strong sense of responsibility who wishes to protect those he loves.

Important Plot Developments

-Character development; introduces several characters including Elizabeth and Frankenstein's parents

-Establishes backstory of the Frankenstein family, giving insight on the upbringing of the main character