At the age of 17, Frankenstein, the protagonist of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, undergoes several significant events that shape his character and the story’s plot. One of the challenges he faces is the sickness and death of his mother, Caroline Beaufort, due to scarlet fever. This tragedy is one of many female characters’ early deaths in the Frankenstein family, including Frankenstein’s wife, Elizabeth.
In addition to his mother’s death, Frankenstein also has to leave his home to attend the University of Ingolstadt in Germany. He seeks refuge from his grief in scientific experiments and quickly becomes skilled in science. He eventually develops a secret technique that can reanimate a dead body.
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Frankenstein’s preoccupation with science and his ability to bring the dead back to life are linked to his mother’s death. He cannot accept the natural end of life and tries to compensate for his loss by playing God. Furthermore, the monster he creates becomes his child, adding another layer to the complex relationship between creator and creation.
Overall, Shelley uses these events to develop Frankenstein’s character and set up the novel’s plot, which explores themes of grief, morality, and the consequences of playing with nature.
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