Study Guide

William Frankenstein | Shmoop

By Mary Shelley

William Frankenstein

(Click the character infographic to download.)

William is Frankenstein's younger brother, and, well, he's not the brightest crayon in the box. Nor is he the most considerate, the kindest, or the most interesting. He insists that the monster wants to "eat [him] and tear [him] to pieces," and then, hilariously, threatens to tell his dad about him (16.27). In fact, he's pretty much the embodiment of all the shallow negativity of the other characters in the story. Fitting, then, that he's extremely attractive:

He is very tall of his age, with sweet laughing blue eyes, dark eyelashes, and curling hair. When he smiles, two little dimples appear on each cheek, which are rosy with health. He has already had one or two little WIVES, but Louisa Biron is his favourite, a pretty little girl of five years of age. (6.8)

Hmm. It seems that, just like Frankenstein, William already makes his value judgments based on looks. Only—in the case of the monster, he's actually right to do so. Does William's unfortunate experience prove that prejudice against ugliness is innate? Or does it just prove that even a six year old can be hopelessly prejudiced?

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