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Frakenstein Essay, Research Paper

Author: Mary Shelley Country England

Title Frankenstein Genre: Fiction/Horror

1. Characters, with a brief description of each.

Victor Frankenstein: He is the main character, a paradigm of ambition and curiosity. He does

not know when to stop, and therefore loses everything.

Elizabeth Lavenza: She is the sweet sister-bride of Victor. With flawless personality, she

represents the hope for escape to a good future.

Caroline: As Victor’s mother, she is as generous as can be. A bit controlling, she desires the

marriage of Victor and Elizabeth from day one.

Alphonse: Victor’s father, a man who is kind and caring towards those in need. His happiness

depends on the happiness of his children. If that fails, he does also.

William: The youngest son of the Frankenstein family, he is victimized terribly and becomes a

symbol of lost youth.

Henry Clerval: Victor’s best friend since childhood, he understands his friend better than any

other character. He has opposite kinds of dreams and goals.

Justine: A servant in the Frankenstein household who is more like a sister. She is accused of

attacking William, and becomes another martyred symbol for lost youth.

The Creature: He is the work of Frankenstein’s hands, his greatest and worst passion rolled into

one. The two have an unbreakable connection.

Robert Walton: The stand-in for the reader, he is the person to whom Victor relates his entire

history. He has much in common with the narrator: ambition, drive, desire for glory.

De Lacey: He is the head of the household adopted by the creature. A blind man who is kind

but has been robbed of his fortunes.

Felix: The son of De Lacey, he is idealistic and not afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

He loves his family with all his heart.

Agatha: The daughter of De Lacey, she is a cheerful soul who lives to aid her brother and care

for her father. She retains a level of class, even though she is poor.

Safie: The betrothed of Felix, she is wonderfully exotic and beautiful. She also is cheerful, and

loves to sing.

2. Settings, with a brief description of each.

Frankenstein is set in the mountainous regions and woods surrounding the Frankenstein

home in Geneva, with the opening of the book set in the Arctic region, amidst icebergs and

dogsleds. Some of the story is also set in the dark regions of Scotland.

3. One paragraph plot summary.

Robert Walton corresponds with his sister in a letter while on expedition to the Arctic

regions. He has taken aboard a weary passenger onto his ship. The man is Victor Frankenstein.

Once Victor becomes more comfortable with Walton, he begins his story.Victor had a peaceful,

almost ideal childhood in Italy. Once on one of his mother?s frequent visits to the poor of Italy,

she happens upon a foster family for the beautiful Elizabeth Lavenza. Caroline immediately

adopts her into the Frankenstein family. Elizabeth and Victor become close, and their parents

expect them to marry. The years fly by and two more sons, William and Ernest are born. Victors

best friend and complete opposite is Henry Clerval. Victor?s mother dies and the two are

betrothed. At school, Victor becomes obsessed with the notion of bringing dead flesh to life. When

Victor has reanimated his creation, he looks on it with horror, and the creature disappears. Victor

enjoys spending time with his two friends. Word then comes from Geneva that William has been

Murdered. Upon returning, Victor comes upon his creature, and knows that he is the murderer of

his brother. Victor learns that Justine has been accused of murdering William. She is found

guilty and condemned to death. Victor again comes face to face with his creation. The Monster

has been dwelling with a cottage family and has learned the ways of humans from a blind man. He

demands of Victor that he make him a female companion. He journey to England with Henry,

who knows nothing of his plans. Victor gets about halfway through the task and rips it to bits.

The creature vows vengeance, and kills Henry. All this makes Victor very ill. He returns

home, and on his and Elizabeth?s wedding night, the creature murders Elizabeth. Victor vows to

spend his days in pursuit of the creature. He goes to the ends of the earth to find him, and dies in

his sleep. The creature visits the corpse, mourning and repenting the murder of his creator. He still

contends that he has suffered most, and his reason for living is gone. He then escapes, to suffer his

own fate.

4. Point of view (narration)

First Person

5. Major themes, brief elaboration on each.

Mankind has moral responsibilities to each other, and there are boundaries which must

never be crossed for the good of all.

The Role of the Creator to his Creation was that of a mother to a child. No matter how

dysfunctional the relationship is, the ?child?-creation in this case is still a strong bond between


The Role of Nature in the lives of everyone should not be questioned. Nature is not to

be toyed with. Interference with the natural order of things will surely bring on the destruction of

the one who interfered.

Scientific Advancement is a threat to Humankind. If science goes too far, there can be

no way of knowing what to expect from everyday life. If the line between life and death is erased,

all of the natural laws that bound the earth are nothing.

6. Author?s tequniques, with examples and commentary.

?I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created … the demoniacal

corpse to which I had so miserably given life.?- This is an example of literary irony in that

Victor had built up the image of this monster in his mind, billed the experience out to be a glorious

birth- and a rebirth of his soul. -?A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many

happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of

his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.?

?It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils …

I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless

thing that lay at my feet… by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow

eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs. How can I

describe my emotions at this catastrophe.?- This is an example of literary imagery because

Shelley takes the time to add sight , sound, and feeling to describe a moment in time.

Justine?s death and William?s death are symbols of lost youth. Victor?s youth was lost

along with his innocence when he created the creature.

7. Two short, quoted passages and a brief explanation of the significance of each.

This quote is the point in the novel where Victor was supposed to be living out his dream of being

God, in a sense, and instead, he is filled with horror at the sight of this monster. He realizes all of

this too late, of course, and he and his loved ones pay dearly for his mistake.

8. Select and copy one sentence which expresses the author?s style and commentary.

?by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature

open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.?- Mary Shelley described the

events in Frankenstein in a style that is most suggestive of that of the great storytellers of old.

This style adds to the intimate atmosphere the reader is thrust into, where one is allowed to delve

into the innermost desires a the human heart.

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