Contents Index

a hired nurse

Up to this point in the novel nursing has been the domain of friends and family, and the willingness to engage in it has been the mark of selfless affection and respect. We recall that Victor's mother Caroline dies from the effects of nursing Elizabeth Lavenza through an adolescent attack of scarlet fever (1.2.1) and that Justine Moritz, in her turn, contracts the disease from attending on Caroline Frankenstein and herself falls "very ill" (1.5.4) as a result. Although not vulnerable to consequences so life-threatening, Henry Clerval acts as Victor's "only nurse" during the months-long nervous fever that incapacitates him after the Creature is brought to life (1.4.7).