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By: Mary Shelley


Frankenstein is a classic tale of a man-made monster seeking acceptance from soc
iety in light of his ghastly appearance and strange upbringing. With Europe as i
ts backdrop in the 1790’s, the story begins with a series of letters exchanged b
etween Captain Robert Walton and his sister that chronicled the story of a man,
Victor Frankenstein, whom he meets on the North Pole.
Biography of the Author:
Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851)
was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and
travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Pro
metheus (1818).
She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and phi
losopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William
Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.
After Mary Godwin s mother died giving birth to her, she and her older half-sist
er, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father. When Mary was three, Godwin married
his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont.
Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging he
r to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin fell in love
with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Together with Mary s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and trav
elled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant. Over the
next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of t
heir prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of P
ercy Shelley s first wife, Harriet.
Year 1790 - Europe

Main Characters
Robert Walton - the official chronicler of "Frankenstein", with the story told i
n a series of letter exchanges to his sister Margaret. He travels to the North P
ole to find a Arctic passage to connect both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans when he
meets a man named Victor Frankenstein whom he finds sick in the ice along with
a dog sled. Citing Walton’s own personal ambition in "conquering" the North Pole
, Victor Frankenstein tells him his own story of ambition gone bad.
"The Monster" Frankenstein - the product of an experiment gone awry. Assembled o
ut of spare human parts by Victor Frankenstein, he turns out to become so hideou
s - albeit with a gentle heart upon childhood. His outlook on life turns sour wi
th repeated failed encounters with humans where he sought friendship and accepta
nce. After a rejection from a small family living in a cottage, "monster" Franke
nstein blows up and seeks revenge against his creator by going on a killing spre
e and demanding a female companion.
Victor Frankenstein - Born to a rich family, Victor Frankenstein started out chi
ldhood with an avid interest in how life is formed. As a college student, he rum
mages for spare parts and uses them to manufacture a hideous being with no secon
d thoughts on murder. The monster goes on to kill Victor’s loved ones as retalia
tion for his cruel circumstances.
Henry Clerval - Victor Frankenstein’s best friend; murdered by monster Frankenst
ein in retaliation to Victor’s unfulfilled promise of creating a female companio
n for him.
Elizabeth Lavenza - Victor Frankenstein’s cousin turned wife; killed by monster
Frankenstein in response to Victor’s unfulfilled promise of creating a female co
mpanion for him.
Dictionary Words and Meanings:
Companion one that accompanies another
Circumstances a condition, fact, or event accompanying, conditioning, or deter
mining another
Passage a way of exit or entrance : a road, path, channel, or course
Avid desirous to the point of greed : urgently eager
Hideous offensive to the senses and especially to sight

Plot Summary:
After being rescued from near death, Victor Frankenstein tells Robert Walton the
story of his upbringing in a warm Swiss family and his fascination with studyin
g how life was formed. He was an avid, amateur scientist who created a "perfect"
human from spare body parts - only to have his plan backfire when the monster t
urned out to be extremely hideous and unappealing. During a brief study and reco
very period with Henry Clerval, his closest friend, Frankenstein’s monster navig
ated the social scene for human friendship and was turned down again and again.
After observing a family living in a small cottage, monster Frankenstein mustere
d the courage to seek an invite before getting rejected again. The last straw, h
e ventured out to seek revenge on the person who created him.
During his trip back to Geneva, Switzerland - the monster met Frankenstein’s you
nger brother and killed him for revenge. After his brother’s death, Frankenstein
went back to Geneva and found the monster canvassing the same woods his brother
was last seen, coming to the realization the monster was responsible for this b
rutal act. After a short trip to the mountains, the monster caught up to Franken
stein and ordered him to create a female monster from scratch for companionship.
After agreeing, he fled to England to start and scrapped the project midway, ci
ting the possibility of further disarray. Knowing his days were numbered after H
enry Clerval’s murder, he hastily married his cousin Elizabeth only to find his
new wife killed by the monster later.
After paying a visit to the cemetery to meet with his fallen family members, Vic
tor realizes that his life’s goal from that point forward was to hunt down the m
onster and kill him. Prior, Victor already determines his fate and goes ahead wi
th his wedding day, knowing the monster would catch up to him. Now, he sought to
kill the monster to save humanity from his menace. Victor chases after him thro
ughout Europe and the North Pole, where he temporarily loses track of the monste
r through a crack in the ice where he also meets Robert Walton and his crew. Amb
itious, Victor gives a thorough lecture on how chasing glory was his Achilles he
el and the dangerous of being too ambitious, citing "tranquility" as one of life
’s goals.
The story ends with Victor’s death a while later and the monster’s cries for for
giveness. After a short contemplation by Robert Walton, who promised to kill him
if offered the chance, the monster convinced him otherwise - disappearing back
North to be never seen again.