Clerval and frankenstein relationship

Friendship in Frankenstein: An Artistotelian-Thomistic Analysis | Greta Enriquez -

clerval and frankenstein relationship

Henry Clerval is seen as the only thing keeping Victor from being a monster describes him as having a "noble spirit," of being. Henry Clerval, who is a doctor in his own right, plays a key role in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. He also ends up paying dearly for his relationship with Victor. Clearly a foil to the science-oriented Victor Frankenstein, Henry Clerval possesses all the qualities of a male friend in the Romantic period. Whereas Victor.

Progress toward beatitude or happiness, while not attainable in this life according to Aquinas, is begun in the friendships that we establish with each other; friends enable us to further develop virtues that are necessary for such happiness I-II.

Moreover, friendships of utility or pleasure only hinder the flourishing of true friendship. In other words, every relationship is a kind of friendship, but there is a hierarchy to the relationships in regards to individual and group character development growth of virtue.

The reasons that utility and pleasure are incomplete is that they are selfish. They reflect the pursuit of the good back onto the pursuer and not the good for the sake of the other in the Enriquez 9 relationship: By categorizing friendships of utility and pleasure as selfish when they exist on their own shows, from the point of view of perfect friendship, where they lack in the development of virtue and goodness, where they lack love.

True human flourishing is not a quality that exists in an individual rational creature, but rather through the interaction and interconnection of rational creatures. True friendship, then, also requires this interaction and interconnection, as friendship is one of the processes through which human flourishing occurs. Within the story of Frankenstein, we are constantly reminded of the need for friends, the desire for the kind of interaction and connection that comes through the seeking of human flourishing.

The three main characters- Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and the Monster- each express desire for this kind of relationship, but each fails in different ways.

The Aristotelian-Thomistic analysis of friendship provided above is in line with the Romantic critique, and in many ways provides foundation for the more modern analysis.

Frankenstein vs. Clerval: Foils | CreateDebate

Enriquez 10 Robert Walton, as the narrator and one of the three main characters of the novel, is the first to broach the desire for friendship that is at the heart of human flourishing.

At first, the desire for friendship that he puts forth is that of hedonic friendship. Sympathy is an emotional response to seeing in another a state or event with which we personally identify. One can extrapolate from these states that Walton is desirous of more than mere hedonic friendship. The phrasing of this desire is self-reflective, hinting at true friendship but without the other-reflective qualities that would mark his desire as one for true friendship.

He recognizes the horror his sister must have felt reading his narrative There is something terribly appalling in our situation, yet my courage and hopes do not desert me. Yet it is terrible to reflect that the lives of all these men are endangered through me. Such a recognition of his responsibility toward the lives of those under his command, which shows the type of friendship that mirrors true friendship, in the form of one having authority over others.

Inside Frankenstein: Cliff Williams and Wes John

And yet he is clear, his hope and courage are with him. Hope and courage are virtues, the balance between extremes of human characteristics on which excellence is habituated Aristotle II.

Enriquez 12 the desire for scientific knowledge and renown, the pursuit and development of single attributes and abilities in lieu of the whole person, and the resulting poor interpersonal relationships that arise when one becomes single-minded.

Even the desolate reaches of the North where the boat becomes lodged in ice shows the single-mindedness of the main characters- the downfall of their journey, and why they have failed to find the friendships they all seek Shelley 7, 8.

Walton describes Frankenstein in the following way: When Frankenstein recovers his strength and is able to engage in conversation with Walton, he furthers the development of the search for friendship, both in his relationship with Walton and in the narrative he relates, a large portion of it dealing with his relationships with Elizabeth and with Clerval.

This statement to Walton is the intentional or attitudinal disposition necessary for the foundation of friendship, desiring the cultivation of virtue in the other and the avoidance of disaster or ill-fortune. He was kind and tender, which enhanced his adventuresome spirit All of these traits Frankenstein found attractive about Clerval, what drew him to Clerval as a companion and confidant.

clerval and frankenstein relationship

As he became more and more involved in his work, Frankenstein stopped fostering the relationship between him and Clerval. The memories of their companionship and balance took on a quality that resembles friendship of utility. While Frankenstein continued to delve more and more into his pursuit to create life, he ignored the development of his other virtues, becoming withdrawn and obsessive It was the restoration of Clerval to Frankenstein, despite the creation of the Monster and the tremendous mental disturbance that obsession caused, that calmed his spirit and brought him back to his senses Frankenstein was able to feel joy and leave aside his sorrows and misfortunes only when his friendship with Clerval was intact When the Monster murdered Clerval, Frankenstein turned his attentions to the pursuit of the Monster, subsuming all relationships under his need for revenge.

Who is Henry Clerval in Frankenstein? |

Frankenstein describes his relationship with Elizabeth in the following way: All praises bestowed on her I received as made to a possession of my own. We called each other familiarly by the name of cousin.

His description of his relationship with Elizabeth shows that his understanding of friendship is varied and encompasses all three levels of friendship to different degrees. First, it is marked by friendship of utility, as he considers Elizabeth, to some extent, to be his possession, something that satisfies a need for him.

Analyzing Frankenstein through secondary characters

Second, it is marked by hedonic friendship, as Frankenstein gains pleasure from their relationship. Love and protection, and to a certain extent cherishment, are elements that involve the good of the other, for the good of the other. I think this is for two reasons.

However, there are two letters from Elizabeth to Frankenstein that give some insight into her disposition toward him. In the first letter, Elizabeth writes to Victor as he is recovering from the shock of having created the Monster. She expresses worry for his condition: She relates to him the happenings of their family, giving Victor information regarding his siblings, father, and household servants; she even indulges to relate some of the gossip of Geneva.

These sorts of communiques show that she includes him in her daily interactions with others, despite his distance and lack of reciprocal communication with her. So, there are elements of hedonic friendship here; in writing to Victor, she is giving herself pleasure, pulling herself out of the worry she feels. Moreover, there is an element of utilitarian friendship, as she has the need for her anxiety to be lessened, and asks Victor to satisfy that need for her.

Further, she highlights aspects of the multiple kinds of friendships they share- that of childhood playmates, siblings, lovers, potential spouses- all of which are intertwined between the levels of friendship they share. According to the Aristotelian-Thomistic theory presented here, the relationship between Victor and Elizabeth is a complicated one. It has the layers of friendship due to the different layers of relationship they have with one another, as siblings and lovers.

It has the levels of friendship- utility, hedonism, and eudaimonia- that mark true friendship, but each of these levels is salient at different times and for different reasons. Given the presentation of the novel itself, this changing saliency presents a new facet of the critique that Shelley makes, which can be inferred from the Aristotelian-Thomistic model.

Specifically, friendship, in all its forms, changes over time and according to the needs of the individuals involved in the particular relationship. This causes different levels of friendship to become more salient than other levels of the friendship at different times. In all friendships implying inequality the love also should be proportional, i.

However, there is an incident which Victor relates that caused Victor some amount of heartache, namely, when Victor begins to study Cornelius Agrippa, and his father ridicules him. Victor feels this failure of kindness and intellectual rigor on the part of his father very deeply, and it impacts their relationship for many years. In Enriquez 18 this way, Alphonse failed in his fatherly duties, as well as in the cultivation of the friendship he has with his son.

When Victor was in Ingolstadt, recovering from his terror of having created the Monster, with Clerval by his side, he receives from Clerval a letter from Alphonse. This letter contains several bits of information, some which highlights the friendship of father and son which Aristotle mentions. During the exchange between Victor and Alphonse that follows, however, it is clear that their relationship is primarily father and son, and that each tries to fulfill the duties and obligations as the circumstance requires.

Victor was suicidal during this time, wrapped in the depression and grief of the murder of Clerval, and in this sense fails to return the proportional and appropriate behaviors of a son to a father Shelley This single-mindedness overwhelms his ability to form and carry out the types of relationships and levels of friendships that human flourishing require.

Yet why do I say this? His last act is to be the true friend of Walton. The progression of his story is an analogue of the different kinds of friendship Aristotle and Aquinas outline. When he first awakes to his condition, before the notions of betterment or revenge a kind of personal advantage notion of progress, if you will consume him, he is filled with wonder and curiosity at his environment, and seeks the companionship of others to share this wonder and curiosity with However, Enriquez 20 given his grotesqueness and overall lack of knowledge concerning human interactions no language, custom, or familial resemblancehe is quickly set upon by the humans he tries to interact with Eventually, he comes into an interesting relationship with the blind farmer and his children, learns language and routine behaviors, comes to understand trade-offs and heartache, and is exposed to the intricate dynamics of human behavior Chapter XII.

I think the reason for this is two-fold.

clerval and frankenstein relationship

On the one hand, he is responding to what he is taught from the humans, that he is something to be feared due to his construction and general difference. On the other hand, he sees that he is different, and true friendship is built on connection and development with one who is substantially like oneself, sharing the same species as it were. Clerval chose to put his youthful energy into furthering his education and general knowledge.

He chose to study humanities. Frankenstein decided to use his energy to pursue a dangerous and catastrophic scientific experiment without proper reason. In chapters five and six, the reader is able to see what has become of both of these men.

clerval and frankenstein relationship

One is able to see that Henry has grown up to be successful and content with life. Frankenstein is miserable and living life in fear of his own creation. I believe that Mary Shelley chose to include a character like Henry Clerval to demonstrate what Victor Frankenstein could have been had he made the wise choices that Clerval had made.

Frankenstein vs. Clerval: Foils

Victor seems to think less of what his actions will cause, such as the creation of the monster while Henry will think the situation though. This impacts the literary interpretation of the work as the reader has in mind the way Victor thinks as if they know him personally. This exemplifies the Romantic Era as the purpose is to show human experience and the relationships between mind and others. Frankenstein is selfish Clerval is selfless.

  • Who is Henry Clerval in Frankenstein?

First of all, Frankenstein is the cause of his own illness. He got himself into trouble by creating the monster, so he should be able to take care of himself and fix the problems he created. However, instead of taking care of his own problems, he needs Clerval to tend to him. Frankenstein has not been a good friend or family member in the past couple of months because he was so involved in his project.

He promised to write to Elizabeth, for instance, but did not follow through with this as his studies mattered more to him. Clerval has just arrived to Ingolstadt to study; however, upon seeing his friend in such distress, he decides to be his caretaker.

Frankenstein would not have done the same if Clerval had fallen ill when he was focused on completing his monster. Frankenstein's illness impedes on Clerval's studies.

Frankenstein is extremely selfish while Clerval is selfless. I feel that he fell from one end of a spectrum to the other.

He swiftly began to create life from this inanimate body and expected this creation to solve all of his problems.