Family Influences on Frankenstein

A person is influenced by a wide variety of different factors at all stages of life, whether they’re a newborn baby, a teenager or even a fully developed adult. One of the very first influences on a person is their family and close friends. The members of your immediate family, both parents and siblings are the first people you bond with as a baby and young child. They influence your behaviour, personality, religious beliefs and overall perspective on different aspects of life. In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein Victor Frankenstein’s family influenced his values and outlook on life itself in a couple of very different ways. Without the influence his family had on him I feel as though he would have turned out much different.

Frankenstein’s mother Caroline Beaufort Frankenstein was a very generous, loving and caring person. Her and her husband Alphonse were very passionate towards their charity work all throughout Frankenstein’s childhood. I strongly believe that this had a positive influence on Frankenstein as well as Elizabeth and his younger brother William. Adopting Elizabeth from a poor family most likely saved her life as they couldn’t provide the necessities she needed to survive, most people would walk away in that situation and forget about the little girl forever. I think that Frankenstein realized his parent’s generosity and their charity work which made him as family oriented as he is. He spends a lot of time studying and working but he is always there for his family and closest friends when they need help.

As an adult Frankenstein was very grateful for his parents and the way they raised him, which was very evident when he said

“it may be imagined that while during every hour of my infant life I received a lesson of patience, of charity, and of self-control, I was so guided by a silken cord that all seemed but one train of enjoyment to me.” (Shelley 32).

They taught him very important life lessons and skills which made him the man he turned out to be in the first eight chapters of the book. For example, if he did not have the patience that his parents taught him he probably never would have succeeded in making the monster as it took a great deal of trial and error.

Both of Frankenstein’s parents had an extremely hard work ethic and a large amount of self-control. Frankenstein knew this and was quite proud of them, even saying “I am by birth Genevese, and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic.” (Shelley 29). He always wanted to make his parents proud because he was always so proud of their work growing up. He took their criticism sometimes using it to better himself and other times brushing it aside as he had his own goals in mind. Without the strong work ethic that his parents taught him he wouldn’t have been nearly as successful in Ingolstadt as he has been so far in the book.

Frankenstein was a very smart and academically successful man. Most children whose parents value education and spend time helping their children in their studies become more successful at school. However, this is not always the case one-hundred percent of the time, but it is proven that

“When parents provide an environment in which children can learn and thrive, it promotes an opportunity for kids to excel in academics and/or other activities that rely on the child’s cognitive abilities.” (Sledge).

Frankenstein’s parents provided and promoted a positive home for their children which allowed them to spend time focusing on their studies which wasn’t always common in the era when this book was written. The support provided by Frankenstein’s parents combined with his work ethic allowed him to accomplish the creation of the monster.

In the end, the relationship you have with your family members and their style of parenting influences you in almost everything you do. Children are very impressionable and pick up what everyone around them is doing very quickly. In my opinion the positive relationship that Victor Frankenstein had with his parents and siblings really benefitted him. They shaped the type of character I believe he is after reading the first eight chapters of the book. They taught him life skills and attributes that are evident in the way he acts numerous times through-out the story.

Sources:

Lafortune, Alison. “What Is the Family Impact on Early Childhood Development?” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, No date. Web. 24 April. 2019. www.livestrong.com/article/267910-what-is-the-family-impact-on-early-childhood-development/.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft., and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 1992.

Sledge, Bria. “Why the Role of a Parent Is So Important to a Child's Development.” NC State, No date. Web. 28 April. 2019. www.bevip.org/uncategorized/why-the-role-of-a-parent-is-so-important-to-a-childs-development/.