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Free Study Guide-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley-Free Chapter Summary Notes
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SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis)

The plot deals with the conflict within Victor Frankenstein, who, due to his love of the natural sciences, produces a monstrous creature. Victor himself is disgusted at the sight of his creature and rejects him. All other humans likewise reject him because of his horrible appearance. The monster, frustrated and misunderstood, ultimately kills the people who are closely related to his creator, Victor Frankenstein.

This is the tale told by Victor to Robert Walton, a sea-captain on a voyage to the North Pole. Both Victor and Robert have much in common in terms of their childhood and their passion for knowledge. Both are explorers of a sort: Robert loves voyages, while Victor loves science. Each is prepared to go to any length to achieve his goals. Victor tells Robert his story so that he can learn to curb his extreme enthusiasm about achieving his goals.

The monster, too, has his own tale to tell. His sensitivity is awakened by Nature and the gentle manners of the family that he lives near. This is the De Lacey family, which is in exile. The family is brought to ruin and forced to seek refuge in a cottage in Germany, where the monster finds them.


When these people reject him, the creature destroys everything in sight. He now feels a tremendous hatred towards the human race. This is what sets him against his creator, whom he intends to destroy by isolating him from those he loves. He kills Victor's brother, his friend and his wife. The innocent Justine is accused of a murder (committed by the creature) and dies a murderess, thus increasing Victor's feelings of guilt and his need for revenge.

Victor makes it his mission to destroy the monster, who has been wreaking havoc in his life. In the meanwhile, he is approached by the monster, who requests that he create another being who can be his companion. Although Victor feels threatened, he consents. Eventually, he is caught between two moral responsibilities. He has a responsibility towards his own creation, and he has a responsibility towards the human race. At the last minute, he decides not to give life to the second creature, regardless of what the monster may do to him.

The monster threatens to be there with him on his wedding night. Victor interprets this as a threat against his own life, but instead he finds his beloved Elizabeth murdered. By this point, Henry has also been killed by the creature.

Victor reaches the North Pole in his pursuit of the monster, who evades him every time. Cold, tired and hungry, he meets Robert and narrates his saga. Afterwards, he dies. The monster makes an appearance, tells Robert his tale and vows to burn himself in a grand funeral pyre.

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Free Study Guide-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley-Free Plot Summary Synopsis
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