Although we have discussed the idea of the monster being Frankenstein’s foil, no other comparisons have been made for the monster. In the following post, I intend to show how Elizabeth serves as a foil to the monster as well.
In a sense, both Elizabeth and the monster are similar characters, since their fathers abandoned them. Apart from that, the similarities between the two end. Unlike the monster, Elizabeth was adopted by a family, Frankenstein’s father “my father did not hesitate… accompany the little Elizabeth to her future home” (Shelly 66), leaving her with someone to care for her. This small difference then causes a contrasting split in the development of Elizabeth and the monster. While Elizabeth blissfully enjoys being sheltered and guided, the monster must struggle through constant bereavement and misjudgment. Even the education of the two is dissimilar, since Elizabeth was “educate[d]” (Shelly 65) by Frankenstein’s father, while the monster was educated by “ Paradise Lost… Plutarch’s Lives, and the Sorrows of Werter” (Shelly 142). In the case of the monster, he also had no guidance on how to interpret the works he read, leading him to have an unrealistic perception of the world. With all this in mind, the end results come to no surprise, Elizabeth being a “lively” “benevolent” girl– that is up until Frankenstein leaves –while the monster goes on to become, well, a monster. So in the end, the adopted orphan triumphed over the rejected orphan.
Retrospectively, a new foil to the monster arises, Elizabeth, who also helps in emphasizing Shelly’s stance on the importance of family and family values. As we have already discussed, as Frankenstein distances himself from his family he becomes more pessimistic and maniacal, or more monstrous, since he has no one who can condole or guide him. So it comes to no surprise that the monster parallels these unfortunate attributes.