Summary of Frankenstein Shelley

Foreword in the letters

Twenty-year-old Robert Walton dreamed of traveling from childhood. He wanted to open the continent, presumably located on the north pole of the Earth, with all its wonders and riches. To make this dream a little inheritance helped. All the vicissitudes of travel Robert described in detail in letters to his sister Margaret.

Upon reaching Arkhangelsk, Walton hired a ship with the crew and headed for the North Pole. Soon the ship got into the area of ​​continuous ice, and was forced to lie down in a drift. Around this time, the team’s attention was attracted by a dog team, on which was riding a “man-like creature, but a giant growth.” Soon the ice broke open, and the ship followed. The next morning, Robert saw a man on one of the huge ice floes. He was trying to ride a team with a single dog. Despite the weakness, the stranger asked which way the ship was heading, before boarding.

Viktor Frankenstein was surprisingly intelligent and subtle. He was heavily frost-bitten and exhausted, but when he heard from Walton about the dog-sled creature, he was spiritually inflamed and quickly recovered. After recovering a little, he told Robert his story, which he wrote down in detail.

History of Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein was born in the family of the most eminent citizens of Geneva. His father married the daughter of his friend Caroline Beaufort, and became a father “in the declining years.” Victor was their favorite and long-awaited first-born, but Carolina wanted to have a daughter. Once, while relaxing on Lake Como, the woman went into a poor hut and saw a pretty blond girl, very different from the other children, black-eyed and black-haired. She was a child of a German and an Italian patriot. Her mother died during childbirth, her father was put in prison, and the girl remained in the family of a wet nurse. Frankenstein persuaded the peasants to give them a girl and adopted her. In the future, Elizabeth was to become Victor’s wife.

Seven years later, after the birth of Ernest’s second son, the Frankensteins refused to travel to Europe and settled in Geneva, where the youngest William was born. Victor grew up as an unbridled and impetuous youth. His warm temper was counterbalanced by the calm, restrained Elizabeth and school friend Henri Clerval, sociable and dreamy. By the age of fifteen, Viktor began to be interested in the natural sciences, but soon the young man decided that science would never cross the “threshold of true knowledge” and began to work on mathematics. This change of inclination could save Victor from his terrible fate, but Rock proved to be stronger than the Spirit of Good.

At the age of seventeen, the young Frankenstein entered the University of Ingolstadt, where he became interested in science again. Before the departure of Victor, his mother died of scarlet fever, and the Frankenstein family remained in the care of Elizabeth. Victor assiduously took up his studies. It turned out that the works of the medieval alchemists that the young man was fond of were hopelessly out of date, so he had to study modern natural science, and especially chemistry, from the very foundations. Two years later Victor achieved great success. Fascinated by physiology, he decided to determine “where to hide the vital principle,” and soon reached his goal – opened a way to revive lifeless matter. In order to apply knowledge in practice, he collected the body from various parts found in morgues, crypts and slaughterhouses. Victor dreamed of creating a perfect being, a new breed of people.

On a rotten November night Victor “saw the completion” of his works. The animated creature of enormous growth, with yellow skin, watery eyes and a “narrow slit of the black mouth” was so terrible that the young man’s nerves could not stand, and he ran out of the laboratory. Returning in the morning, Victor found that the monster had disappeared, but the youth’s nerves were completely upset. In the morning the Clerval came to Ingolstadt University to study philology and linguistics, but the arrival of a friend did not reassure Victor. A few hours later he began a nervous fever, lasting several months. All this time, Henry was courting Victor.

The young man recovered only by the spring. Clairwale did not inform the family of the young man’s illness, fearing to upset the old father. Coming to himself, Victor read the letter from Elizabeth. Unaware of the groom’s illness, she talked about family matters, including Justine Moritz, a kind and industrious but slightly frivolous girl who lived with the Frankenstein family from the age of twelve.

After recovery, Victor abandoned his previous studies. He could not look without shudder at his tools and instruments. The following year Clerval remained next to each other, supporting and entertaining him. Spring came again, the monster disappeared without a trace, and Victor with a light heart gathered home, to Geneva. Just before he left, he received a letter from his father, in which it was reported about the death of William. The boy disappeared while walking, and soon he was strangled.

In Geneva, Victor arrived in the evening, when the city gates had already been closed. Torn by insomnia, he decided to visit the place where William was murdered. When Victor got there, a thunderstorm began. In the light of lightning, he noticed a creature of giant growth and immediately realized that his younger brother had been killed by a monster he had created. At home, Victor learned that Justine was accused of murder, who had found William’s medallion. In vain he argued that the girl was innocent – no one believed him. To open the truth he did not dare to fear that people would find him crazy. A few days later, unfortunate Justine was convicted and executed.

Victor was tormented by the torments of conscience, undermining the still fragile nervous system after the illness. Seeing his fortune, the Frankensteins moved to their country house. Now Victor was looking for “relief of pain in physical movements and changing places.” Hiring a mule, he went on a trip to the Alps. After two months, crossing the glacier covered with deep cracks, he faced his creation face to face. All this time the monster watched him. The creature chose this deserted place to talk to its creator, and told Frankenstein its sad story.

The monster almost did not remember the first hours of his existence, he only felt cold, hungry and thirsty. He came to his senses in the Ingolstadt forest, where he lived for some time. He learned to satisfy his basic needs and even learned what fire is by stumbling upon a still burning fire. Occasionally a monster met people who ran away from him with screams of horror. A short time later he reached the village, but there all fled from him. Finally, he took refuge in a small hovel attached to a poor village house. Through a small gap in the wall, the monster began to observe the inhabitants of the house. In it lived a small family – a blind father with his son Felix and daughter Agatha. Felix often read his father out loud. Listening to him, the monster learned to speak. These meek and beautiful people aroused admiration from the unfortunate and lonely creature. They were... poor, and the monster tried to help them, collecting at night the brushwood and folding it at the door of the house. Spring came, and Felix was visited by a bride, the “beautiful Arabian” Safia. The young man undertook to teach the bride his own language, not knowing that there is one more pupil in the lessons. Soon the monster understood everything that his benefactors say, and even read a little. The textbook was the work Volneya “Ruins of the Empire”, from which the monster learned about the structure of human society. He began to understand what is different from other people. The textbook was the work Volneya “Ruins of the Empire”, from which the monster learned about the structure of human society. He began to understand what is different from other people. The textbook was the work Volneya “Ruins of the Empire”, from which the monster learned about the structure of human society. He began to understand what is different from other people.

Soon the monster found out that until recently the De Lacy family was notable, rich and lived in Paris. Their troubles began because of the Turkish merchant who was unjustly condemned to the death penalty. Felix fell in love with his daughter Safia and helped the merchant escape from prison. In return, the Turks agreed to give him the hand of his daughter. The French government sentenced the De Lacy family to exile and confiscation of property. The ungrateful Turk ordered his daughter to forget about Felix, but the girl left her father and returned to her beloved. She brought a little money and jewelry, through which pulled De Lacy from the impenetrable poverty.

The monster lived in the annexe until winter. Having found once in the woods a bag with books, among which was “Paradise Lost,” the monster realized that he, like Adam, was also created by someone. In the pockets of clothing captured from the laboratory of Frankenstein, the creature found Victor’s notes, from which he learned who his creator was. The unfortunate creature bowed to De Lacy, dreamed of faithfully serving them, and to receive in return a little love. The monster thought for a long time how to seem to these fine people and not to frighten them. Finally, he decided to put a blind old man to him, hoping that he would persuade his children to accept the unfortunate creature. He chose the time when the old man was left alone, went in and spoke to him, trying to soften his terrible voice. At this time, the rest of the family returned. The girls fainted, and Felix grabbed a stick and drove the creature out of the house. Then the De Lacy family hurriedly rented the farmhouse and left. That same night, the monster set fire to the house and went to Geneva in search of his creator. Having found the Frankenstein family, the monster killed William and placed his locket in Justine’s pocket.

The monster accused Frankenstein of having created him and abandoned him to the mercy of fate, and demanded the creation of a female being. Finding a friend, he intended to go “to the vast deserts of South America,” away from people. The monster threatened to ruin Victor’s family if he did not fulfill his demands. Frightened of threats, Victor agreed. This work was so disgusting to him that he, as he could, delayed its beginning. The creature kept an eye on him. Eventually, Victor, accompanied by Henri Clerval, had to go to England to start creating a bride for the monster. Returning from England, Victor was to marry Elizabeth. Only this thought supported him.

Frankenstein took off the hut on one of the secluded islands and set to work. Everything was almost ready when Victor realized that he had no right to give life to another creature, because it could turn out evil and destroy many people. In addition, two monsters could have children and bring death to humanity. At this thought Victor destroyed all the prepared materials. Discovering this, the monster said: “I’ll be with you on your wedding night,” vowed to avenge and disappeared. Victor decided that he was in danger of a wedding night and decided to bring her closer.

Victor put all his tools and tools in the basket, at night he took her out into the open sea and drowned. Relieved, he fell asleep right in the boat. When he woke up, Frankenstein discovered that he was far away from the familiar shore. Victor spent many hours at sea. Finally, he landed near a small town, where he was immediately arrested. In the town there was a tragedy – an unknown traveler was brutally strangled, so all the strangers were arrested. Seeing the dead, Victor recognized in him his faithful friend Henri Clerval. So the revenge of the monster began.

Victor again fell down a nervous fever. Two months later he woke up in prison. A month later, a court was held, on which Victor was acquitted. The father who came for him drove him to Geneva, where the preparations for the wedding immediately began. Immediately after the ceremony, the couple went on a honeymoon. They had to spend their wedding night in a secluded hotel. Leaving his wife in the room, Victor armed himself to the teeth and began to walk along the corridor. He wanted to sell his life dearly and try to destroy the monster. Suddenly a terrible scream came from the room. Having broken in there, Victor discovered that his young wife was strangled. In the open window, the horrible face of the monster could be seen. Victor shot, but missed.

The same night, he hurriedly went to Geneva, fearing that the monster would outstrip him. He found his father alive, but the old man was so weak from the misfortunes that had fallen on him that he soon died in Victor’s hands. His despair was so great that Victor was considered crazy and locked up in solitary confinement for several months. After leaving the clinic, he went to the local judge and told the whole truth about the monster, but the judge did not believe Victor, deciding that he was still sick.

After that Frankenstein went on a journey after the monster, dreaming only of one thing: to destroy it. Pursuing the creature, which had incredible strength and endurance, he walked all the continents of the Earth and was near the North Pole, where he was picked up by the ship.

Continuation of Walton’s diary

The story of Frankenstein lasted a whole week, during which the ship was surrounded by ice. In the end, the sailors demanded that Walton turn the ship back to England, and he had to agree. A few days later the wind blew, the sea cleared, and the ship was able to turn home. By this time, Frankenstein is completely weakened. Before he died, he only regretted that he had not caught up with his worst enemy. Entering the cabin, where the dead Frankenstein lay, Walton found there a monster that mourned over its creator. He told Robert about the anguish of repentance he felt. To stop these torments, he was going to burn himself alive. Having said this, the monster jumped out of the window onto the ice raft and “disappeared into the dark distance.”


Summary of Frankenstein Shelley