How Is Doubling Shown in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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The idea of doubling is a central theme in Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein. This theme reveals itself in a variety of ways, predominantly with the parallels between Frankenstein and his creature, but it also is apparent from the dualities in other characters, the language and images used and in the structure and form of the novel itself. Victor Frankenstein and the physical creature are the most obvious example of doubling. One way in which Shelley shows how the two are a reflection of each other is through the therapeutic way nature affects their souls. Early on in the novel during his nervous breakdown Frankenstein he says that the ‘season contributed greatly to my convalescence.’ This soothing effect nature has on the mind is replicated when the creature, after having endured a hellish, bitterly cold winter alone, finds that ‘spring cheered even’ him, inducing feelings of ‘gentleness and pleasure’. Furthermore, similarities can be seen by the language used. An example of this is the repeated use of the phrase, “miserable wretch”. Initially this phrase is applied to the creature on the night of its birth, “the wretch”. Later, however, the author uses the same description for his creator Victor as he soon becomes “so miserable a wretch”, demonstrating how they ultimately face the same fate. One may also recognise that both Frankenstein and the creature seem to share a strong need for the support and love of a family. Even though Victor often acts quite egoistical, he sincerely loves his family. Without them, he feels life is pointless, which is evident when he contemplates suicide, “I was tempted to plunge into the silent lake”, but he decides against it as it would cause too much pain for his loved ones, “But I was restrained, when I thought of the heroic and suffering Elizabeth”. There are also parallels and opposites in terms of the experiences

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