Every archetype, the motherly/fatherly archetype, and the good/bad

Every
piece of literature has an emotional meaning behind the text. Taking a look through
the archetypal lens, allows the audience to interpret the meaning through a
different perspective. An archetype is a collectively inherited unconscious
idea, pattern of thought or image universally present in individual psyches (Powell,
2014).   They are commonly seen in literature works,
but are also seen in real life situations. This definitive lens helps
communicate the texts’ true meaning and emotion in every form of literature. In
the award-winning novel, Frankenstein,
written by Mary Shelley, the archetypal lens allows readers to analyze
Elizabeth Frankenstein, Alphonse Frankenstein, and the difference between
Caroline Beaufont and Madame Moritz. Moreover, the love interest archetype, the
motherly/fatherly archetype, and the good/bad parent archetype are three major
archetypes presented.

Elizabeth
Lavenza Frankenstein, the love interest in the novel, was first introduced as
Victor Frankenstein’s adopted sister. Described as a beautiful young child,
Victor was deeply interested with her presence. When she was welcomed into
Victor Frankenstein’s family, his mother Caroline ‘gifted’ him with Elizabeth
and he “interpreted her words literary and looked upon Elizabeth as
his” (Shelley, 31).  The love interest
archetype particularly motivates the protagonist with their characteristics. This
archetype typically supports or resists the protagonist, depending on the
protagonist’s goal (Weiland, 2013). The romantic relationship between the love
interest and the protagonist brings out different views on both characters.
Similarly, Victor’s romantic relationship with Elizabeth brought out the human
side of his character (McGregor, 2014). Elizabeth saw the good in Victor and
always put his happiness before her own. His love for her was special as he voiced
about how he would “die to make her happy” (Shelley, 167). Victor mentioned
that “harmony was the soul of our companionship, and the diversity and
contrast that subsisted in our characters drew us nearer together” (Shelley,
32). Victor believed that their differences brought them closer together.
Elizabeth had a vital interest in the appearances of things and this motivated
Victor to investigate the cause behind these things. The encouragement and impulse
she provided towards Victor illustrates her as the love interest archetype in
the novel.

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Victor
Frankenstein was raised by two parents who showed a great amount of affection
and love towards him. As a child, Victor, William, Ernest and Elizabeth  were all showered with an excessive amount of
love. Alphonse Frankenstein, Victor’s father, was portrayed as the fatherly
archetype in the beginning of the novel. He was acknowledged as a humble man who
committed for his country. When scarlet fever took the life of his companion away,
 his character slowly molded into the
motherly archetype. The fatherly archetype displays order, discipline, supportiveness,
and they are known to have the ability to guide others to the right path (Hancox,
2012). In the novel, Alphonse continuously reminds Victor of his duties in
society showed readers that his values oppose Victor’s values. Alphonse
questions Victor, “is it not a duty to the
survivors, that we should refrain from augmenting their unhappiness by an
appearance of immoderate grief? It is also a duty owed to yourself; for
excessive sorrow prevents improvement or enjoyment, or even the discharge of
daily usefulness, without which no man is fit for society” (Shelley, 65). Alphonse
advises Victor that the feeling of guilt is affecting Victor’s health in the
wrong way. He educated Victor by telling him that there is no reason to feel agony
for something or someone over a long period of time. Alphonse’s role in the
novel was to shine light on Victor’s duties and obligations in his life. He was
represented as the ideal father in the novel. His character was very important,
as he demonstrated towards the readers that family is above all. Sadly, Victor
rejected Alphonse’s wise words and this lead to the beginning of his downfall.

When Victor was going through a dark space in his life, his
father began showing more features of a motherly archetype. Victor’s sickness
had caused great grief for him. The motherly archetype presents an expression
for unconditional love and affection (Couch, 2016). The maternal figure shows
calm and soft emotions. In Frankenstein,
Alphonse immediately goes to Scotland to visit his son and Victor states,
“My father calmed me
with assurances of their welfare and endeavored, by dwelling on these subjects
so interesting to my heart, to raise my desponding spirits; but he soon felt
that a prison cannot be the abode of cheerfulness. ‘What a place is this that
you inhibit my son.'” (Shelley, 160). Alphonse helps Victor by lifting up
his spirits with cheerfulness. The action of him calming Victor down through
his stressful times was an action of a maternal figure. As Alphonse grew older,
the more softer he became. Towards the end of the novel, he fit more into the
motherly archetype rather than fatherly archetype.

The
good/bad parent archetype is the comparison between the worst and the optimal
maternal and paternal figures. The good parent archetype is a character who
shows great affection and care for their child. This specific figure is very
observant. However, the bad parent archetype is a character who is abusive and
repulsive towards their child. This individual is oblivious to the child’s
emotions. This archetype is clearly identifiable as Caroline Beaufont
represented as the good parent and Madame Moritz characterized as the bad
parent. Justine’s birth mother, Madame Moritz was introduced in the novel as a
women who was abusive and negligent towards her child. Justine was loved dearly
by her late father but “through a strange perversity, her mother could not
endure her” (Shelley, 58). The lack of attention from her mother caused a
rough upbringing for young Justine. Madame Moritz “sometimes begged
Justine to forgive her unkindness but much often accused her of causing the
deaths of her brother and sister” (Shelley, 59). The observant mother
Caroline, noticed how Justine was being treated and welcomed her with open
arms, into the Frankenstein family. Caroline “conceived a great attachment
for her, by which she was induced to give her an education superior to which
she had at first intended” (Shelley, 58). These two characters allow
readers to understand the many different types of parental figures and the
effect they have on their children. The novel greatly emphasizes the comparison
between Caroline Beaufont and Madame Moritz, even through their deaths.
Caroline dies peacefully on a bed with her loved ones closely around her, while
Madame Moritz passed away “on the first approach of cold weather, at the
beginning of this last winter” (Shelley, 59). This proves the respect
Caroline Beaufont received from her children as they stayed with her through
her hardest times. However with Madame Moritz, she dies alone with nobody by
her side.

The analysis of the novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley through the archetypal lens,
allows the audience to investigate the archetypes of Elizabeth Frankenstein,
Alphonse Frankenstein, and the difference between Caroline Beaufont and Madame
Moritz. Elizabeth was portrayed as the primary love interest in the novel. Alphonse
was interpreted as a fatherly archetype who molded into a motherly archetype as
the novel progressed. The comparison between Caroline and Mme. Moritz carries
the archetype of the good/bad parental figures. These archetypes give the
audience reasons of why these characters are vital individuals towards the
story and towards other characters in the novel. Every literary text has a
meaning, just as every picture has its’ own significance, and without taking a
look through the archetypal lens this interpretation would be lost.