In Frankenstein, family becomes the counterpart to loneliness, which in turn is the primary impetus for evil. Family is seen as a solution to the destruction that the monster imposes on Victor. He wants a companion, a mate, a person to create for him some anchor in the social world. Further complicating the issue of family are the deaths of parents and children that occur so frequently throughout the book. With all these children dying, the symbolic suggestion is that the future is threatened. In the case of Frankenstein, it is threatened by the new world that Shelley envisions. When the text is taken in the context of its history (the rapid scientific changes occurring during the Industrial Revolution), these symbolic deaths of the past and future gain significance.
Victor’s mother’s death is the impetus for his creating the monster. Because such an event was beyond his control, Victor is morally exonerated from responsibility for the tragedy that follows.
Walton’s need for a friend mirror’s the need the monster has for a mate. Indeed, the relationships that Shelley portrays are blind to the sex of the characters, dependent on function and not on gender.