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The novel begins in a frame narrative: Robert Walton, the captain of a ship, recounts his adventures through a series of letters to his sister back in England. Walton encounters Victor Frankenstein in the seas near the North Pole and is told his story, and the major part of the novel consists of Frankenstein’s narration of his strange adventures.
Victor tells Walton of his early life in Geneva and his close relationships with his cousin, Elizabeth Lavenza, who had come to live with his family when her mother died, and his friend Henry Clerval. Victor eventually goes to the university at Ingolstadt and begins to study natural philosophy and chemistry. During this time, he becomes consumed by the desire to discover the secret of life and finally succeeds. He fashions a creature out of old body parts and animates it one night. However, the creature appears so horrible that he runs away, allowing the creature to escape.
Shortly afterwards, Victor is preparing to return to Geneva when he receives a letter from his father telling him that his youngest brother, William, has been murdered. Victor hurries home and, on the way, sees the monster in the woods and becomes convinced that the creature murdered William. He arrives home to find that Justine Moritz, a girl who had lived for some time in the Frankenstein household, has been accused of the murder. She is tried, condemned, and executed, despite her assertions of innocence, and Victor becomes despondent and guilty knowing that the creature he created was responsible for the deaths of these two innocent people.
Victor’s father hopes to take Victor’s mind off of his grief by taking the family on a trip. One day while Victor is alone in the mountains, the monster appears to him, tells his story, and begs his creator to make him another creature as a mate. Victor refuses at first, but finally gives in, convinced by the monster’s persuasive pleas. After his family returns home, Victor departs on a journey for England to gather information for his creation. He secludes himself on an island and works. One night, the monster appears at his window. Struck by the horrific consequences of his work, Victor destroys the new creation. The monster is enraged and vows that he will be with Victor on his wedding night.
Later that night, Victor goes out onto the lake in a boat and dumps the remains of the second creature in the lake. The wind picks up, preventing him from returning, but in the morning he comes ashore near a town. Upon landing, he is informed that he will be tried for a murder that happened the previous night. He is led to see the body and is shocked to behold his friend Henry Clerval, with the mark of the monster’s fingers on his neck. He falls ill and stays in prison until his recovery, after which he is acquitted of the crime and returns to Geneva with his father.
Shortly after his return, Victor and Elizabeth marry. Victor is fearful of the monster’s warning, and suspects that he will be murdered on his wedding night; to be cautious, he sends Elizabeth away to wait for him. While he awaits the monster, he hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that the monster’s threat targeted his wife. After her death, Victor returns home to his father, who dies of grief a short time later. Victor vows to devote the rest of his life to finding the monster and exacting his revenge; he departs soon to begin his quest.
At this point in Victor’s story he encounters Walton. Walton tells the remainder of the story in a series of letters to his sister. Victor, already ill when the two men met, worsens and shortly dies. Walton returns to the room where Victor’s body lies and is startled to see the monster, who describes to Walton his immense suffering and tells him that, now that his creator has died, he can also end his suffering–he departs for the mountains to die.
2. The Setting is in England in the mid-1800?s.
3. The theme of the novel is ?don?t judge a book by its cover.?
4. Robert Walton is the narrator of the first narrative of the story. He tells of his meeting with Dr. Frankenstein at sea through four letters to his sister, Margaret Saville, in England. He also narrates the final portion of the story.
Victor Frankenstein is the narrator and protagonist of the main portion of the story, which is presented as his narration of his story to Walton. He creates a monster as a result of his study of natural philosophy, and this monster eventually destroys everyone he loves.
Monster is the creature that Victor creates. He also acts as one of the narrators of the story as he tells his story to Victor.
5. In the end the villagers succeed in killing what they believe is evil, and the Frankenstein?s fail because they die.
6. He believes humans judge thing too quickly.
7. The title is the main characters last name.
8. This book is written in first person.
9. It is very well written.
10. I believe that this book is directed to teenagers and up.
11. Mary Shelley was born Mary Godwin on August 30, 1797 in London. Her mother was Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women. Her father was William Godwin, a member of a salon of radical thinkers in England that included Thomas Paine and William Blake. Mary’s upbringing among this literary circle contributed significantly to her career.
One night in 1816, after the group had been reading ghost stories, Byron proposed that they each write a ghost story of their own. This ‘contest’ was the inspiration for Frankenstein, along with fragments by Byron and John William Polidori, Byron’s physician who was also present for the contest. Frankenstein was published for the first time in March of 1818 after Mary’s husband had helped her edit and revise the novel. We should therefore keep in mind Percy Shelley’s possible influence on the novel as a finished product.
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