The Importance Of Companionship In Frankenstein
Loneliness can sometimes be depressing and even deadly. Humans always rely on each other for companionship, and they cherish it. This is the case in Frankenstein, a novel by Mary Shelley which goes into detail about why a man, whose name is Victor Frankenstein, is wandering in the Arctic. He is attempting to find a monster who has ruined his life by murdering his friend and members of his family, including his newly-wed wife, Elizabeth. When Frankenstein goes into detail of what happens to him and his family, the novel starts to portray the theme of a desire for companionship, no matter who or what the person is. The novel clarifies this through Frankenstein’s love for Elizabeth, him cherishing his time with Clerval, and the monster demanding Frankenstein to make him a lover.
First, before Frankenstein creates the monster, he has a desire for companionship as a child. During this time, Frankenstein is affectionate towards Elizabeth and cherishes her after he interprets her as literally his. He starts to develop romantic feelings for her as according to him, Elizabeth is “my more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only” (Shelley 34). Although Elizabeth is Frankenstein’s adoptive sister, he still loves her to no end. As a child, he takes words literally so when the family gives Elizabeth as a present to Frankenstein, he believes that he and Elizabeth are destined to marry until their deaths. Even when Frankenstein was in England, he still loves Elizabeth and writes back as soon as possible whenever she sends a letter.
In addition to Frankenstein’s love for Elizabeth, the novel also demonstrates the theme of companionship with Frankenstein being in a positive mood when he travels with Clerval. When Frankenstein starts to get lonely while being away from his home, Clerval is usually there for him. Frankenstein then starts to cherish Clerval’s companionship, especially after he creates the monster. Frankenstein thanks Clerval and tells him “’how kind, how very kind you are to me…instead of being spent in study, as you promised yourself, has been consumed in my room. How shall I ever repay you?’” (Shelley 64). After Frankenstein has such a horrible night, from creating the monster, to letting it run astray, and having that nightmare, he needs a companion to get him through this, and Clerval does just that. Frankenstein is so grateful he does not know how to repay him. Frankenstein starts to get a sense of joy and happiness whenever he has a companion with him when he travels.
Lastly, along with Frankenstein’s desire for companionship with Elizabeth and Clerval, the monster Frankenstein created also has a desire for companionship. The monster is tired of roaming around alone and everyone fearing him. He then starts to desire for a companion, more specifically a lover. After telling Frankenstein what happens to him, the monster then asks him of a request. The monster, being so lonely, tells Frankenstein that he “’demand[s] a creature of another sex, but as hideous as myself…it is all that [the monster] can receive, and it shall content [him]’” (Shelley 157). The monster is tired of being othered by society and just wants a companion. The denial of a companion had led to the monster commit several crimes, such as lighting the DeLacy family’s house on fire, and killing William, a relative of Frankenstein. Not only does the monster just wants a companion, he also tells Frankenstein to make her as hideous as himself, so that the female monster will not be scared of the monster, or the monster will feel better about himself.
To summarize, the novel Frankenstein shows that people always have a desire for companionship throughout the book and without it, a person can become depressed from it. This desire can range from anything and anyone. Victor Frankenstein is a normal human being and has a desire for companionship and when he gets it, he becomes overridden with joy. However, the monster, something that Frankenstein created, also desires for companionship and without it, he is othered by society which leads him to commit several crimes. He is also rejected of a companion from Frankenstein, which causes him to kill Elizabeth. Companionship can be a natural desire, whether it would be a human or a creature, and without it, it can have devastating side effects.