Who is Henry Clerval in Frankenstein?

Question:

Who is Henry Clerval in Frankenstein?

The Role of Henry Clerval:

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 Frankenstein.

Answer and Explanation:

Henry Clerval is a very dear and close friend of Victor Frankenstein. In the beginning of Frankenstein, Victor mentions how he is an only child with almost nary a friend. One person with whom he develops a friendship is Henry Clerval. The friendship becomes so close that Victor mentions how Clerval seemingly became like a brother to him.

The friendship endures separation, when Victor leaves his university studies to pursue his own work. When the two are reunited, it's as if no time had passed. The bond between them remains strong and unwavering. Victor, however, has a secret, one that he keeps from Henry.

Victor's creation, the creature, learns of Clerval and how much he means to Victor. When Victor fails to create a mate for the creature, the creature exacts revenge and kills those close to Victor. Clerval is one of the first victims. Clerval's death strikes Victor hard, and shows that Clerval stood as more than just a colleague and friend to Victor. He was also his brother.


Learn more about this topic:

Main Characters in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Main Characters in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

from Frankenstein Study Guide

Chapter 4 / Lesson 2
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