Who is Ernest in “Frankenstein”?

Updated 21 March, 2023
Ernest is a minor character in Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein." He is the younger brother of the main protagonist, Victor Frankenstein. Ernest is described as being a cheerful and amiable child, who is beloved by his family. Although he is not central to the plot of the novel, Ernest's character provides important context for understanding Victor's personality and motivations.
Detailed answer:

Ernest is one of the minor characters in Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein". He is the youngest son of Alphonse Frankenstein and the brother of Victor Frankenstein, the main protagonist of the novel. Ernest is depicted as a kind and compassionate person who is deeply concerned about his family's well-being. He is described as having a gentle disposition and a strong sense of duty towards his family.

Throughout the novel, Ernest plays a relatively small role in the story's events. However, he is present during some critical moments, such as when Victor returns home after creating the monster and falls ill. Ernest is one of the few people who genuinely care for Victor and tries to help him during his illness. He is also present at the trial of Justine Moritz, a family servant who is falsely accused of William Frankenstein's murder. Ernest is deeply saddened by Justine's execution and is one of the few family members who mourn her death.

Despite his limited role in the novel, Ernest is an essential character as he represents the goodness and compassion that is absent in many of the other characters. He serves as a reminder of the importance of family, love, and loyalty, and his character adds depth and complexity to the overall story. In this way, Ernest can be seen as a symbol of the novel's underlying message about the importance of human connection and empathy, even in the face of tragedy and loss.

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