STUDY AIDS : CHARACTERS
Victor describes him as an only child, "the son of a merchant of Geneva, an intimate friend of my father. He was a boy of singular talent and fancy" (I:1:11). Clerval is almost a family member in the Frankensten household: when Victor complains that "My brothers were considerably younger than myself," he notes, "but I had a friend in one of my schoolfellows, who compensated for this deficiency" (I:1:11), and Victor includes Clerval in his account of his "domestic circle" because "he was constantly with us" (I:1:13). The two are united by "the closest friendship" (1831:I:2:2).
After parting from Clerval on his departure for Ingolstadt, Victor does not see his friend until after the creation of the Creature: he arrives just in time to care for Victor in his first insane fever (I:4:17).
After Frankenstein's recovery, Clerval convinces his father to allow him to join Frankenstein at the university, studying classical and Eastern languages:
In the 1831 edition, this course of study is significantly altered in its purpose:
Much later, Clerval accompanies Frankenstein on what is to be a two-year tour of Europe (III:1:11). The two part in Scotland, when Victor begins work on a mate for the Creature. After he destroys his new creation, Frankenstein is arrested for the murder of Clerval (III:4:9), apparently killed by the Creature as punishment for Frankenstein's unwillingness to complete his work.