When one thinks of Friendship, thoughts of positive and cheerful experiences flood the mind. Though what lies beneath the surface is perhaps not as constructive as one might think. According to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, when regarding the theme of Friendship in the novel, it is presented with the notion that is a Community of Man, not to say a positive relationship between men but a simple sense of companionship that often involves enemies, leaders and brothers. Through these bonds, it is hard to say whether they offer the involved salvation or lead them to their own damnation.
Companionship or to say friendship in Frankenstein is found in the form of an enemy; an important element in the community of men that Shelley creates in the novel. This adversary that characters find in each other fills a void or if one could say a need, which most characters seem to find in friendship. Such an example is found in Shelley’s novel is the rivalry between Victor Vaughn Frankenstein and his Monster. Once created, the Monster sought out nothing but a companion; a friend and nothing else to accept and love him for what he is, a task that his Creator himself failed to do. His desires were known early on “ for [his] heart yearned to be known and loved by these amiable creatures: to see their sweet looks directed towards [him] with affection was the utmost limit of [his] ambition” (Shelley 173). But as he struck failure by exhausting every possibility to experience the warmth of a friend, and the pain of loneliness was the only thing he seemed capable of finding, all due to his grotesque body, he sought out the only sort of companion he could muster: the hatred found within his enemy Frankenstein. Even though he hungered for his creator’s destruction, during their pursuit across the North “he left marks in writing on the barks of the trees, or cut in stone, that guided [Frankensein]” or left dead food where Victor can “eat and be refreshed” (Shelley 278). Such measures to keep any form of companionship alive, even that of an enemy; were strongly applied by both opponents. Following the deaths of Elizabeth and Henry, the Monster was the only form of friendship Victor held onto. He vowed that he “never will give up [his] search until [the monster] or [himself] perish; and then with what ecstasy shall [he] join [his] Elizabeth and departed friends” (Shelley 278). All that remains is passion for the destruction of his monster, not even the offered salvation and the warmth of a new friend from Captain Walton. In the end, the hatred that bonded these two together doomed them both to their deaths.
The Community of men in the novel also involves the companionship in the form of leaders Shelley’s characters. The most obvious arrangement of this is between Frankenstein and Walton. Whose bond amongst one another in fact brought upon the salvation of Walton and his crew members aboard the ship, in the form of the guiding and cautionary words of Frankenstein. He begged Walton to “learn from [his] miseries, and [to] not seek to increase [his] own” (Shelley 285). Though Frankenstein did not seek the sort of companion that he found in Walton, he miraculously found the outlet he had unknowingly been searching for to end his suffering. By expressing his inner most demons to Walton, Victor found his salvation as he passed away in death, not far after his pleas to the young explorer “to seek happiness and tranquility and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing [himself] in science and discoveries”(Shelley 296). Nevertheless this form of companionship can also be found in varied instances in the novel such as the elder man among the cottagers who not only directly guides his family, but also unknowingly educates and disciplines the Monster who secretly observers them. It is because of these lessons, that he began to “[comprehend] and could imitate almost every word that was spoken”