Henry Clerval

Henry is Victor's best friend who looks after him when he is ill and accompanies him to England. Henry's purpose in the novel is to show what Victor could have been had he not been influenced by ambition and the desire for discovery - in that sense he is Victor's opposite. Like Elizabeth, Henry is an idealised character and like Elizabeth he dies at the hands of the Monster.

How is Henry like this?EvidenceAnalysis
IdealisedLike Elizabeth, Henry is an idealised character - almost a perfect example of a strong yet sensitive man. He is loyal to Victor and even places his own education and ambitions on hold while he puts his friend's needs and wishes first. Victor never even tells Henry what he has been doing or what he plans to do, yet Henry remains a true friend throughout.Clerval called forth the better feelings of my heart; he again taught me to love the aspect of nature, and the cheerful faces of children. Excellent friend! how sincerely you did love me, and endeavour to elevate my mind until it was on a level with your own. A selfish pursuit had cramped and narrowed me, until your gentleness and affection warmed and opened my senses; I became the same happy creature who, a few years ago, loved and beloved by all, had no sorrow or care.After the horrors of creating the Monster, Henry encourages Victor to take delight in the more simple and rewarding aspects of life - the beauty of nature and the innocence of children. Looking back, Victor can see that Henry's true devotion is in contrast to his own abandonment of his creation and that his ambition was little more than 'a selfish pursuit'.
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