Henry is Victor’s friend and traveling companion. He attends the university of Ingelstadt with him and nurses him back to health when he falls ill. He travels with Victor on his two-year journey through England and Scotland while he works on the monster’s companion. Henry is sent to stay with acquaintances of Victor’s in Scotland while he finishes his work. The monster kills him and Victor is accused of being the murderer.
So aside from moving the plot forward, Henry highlights some central themes for us. The first is companionship as opposed to isolation. Victor, Walton, and the monster all end up lonely and in serious need of BFF’s. But Victor wasn’t always alone. The monster just made sure he ended up that way. By killing Henry, the monster forces Victor to experience the same solitude that he has been stuck with his entire (if short and miserable) life.
Henry is also eye candy. If the monster is the epitome of ugliness, that Henry is his polar opposite, at least in the looks department which, if you’ve spent any time with Victor Frankenstein, you know is the most important aspect of any person. Yet, and this is the interesting part, Henry’s death isn’t really that sad. We don’t know about you, but we were closer to tears when we saw the monster crying over Victor’s body than we were when Henry’s bloated corpse was presented to his friend. Good thing we, the reader, have moved past judging books by their covers, even if none of these characters have.