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Free Study Guide-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley-Free Chapter Summary Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 23

Summary

Both Victor and Elizabeth take a walk on the shore for a while and then return to the inn. It begins to rain that night and Victor's terror mounts. He goes to check the surroundings and is startled by screams from Elizabeth's room. He finds her dead in their bed with the monster's marks on her. Victor collapses into unconsciousness. On recovering, he sees the monster grinning at him and fires a shot, but misses. He tries to chase him and fails.

He decides to see if his father and Ernest are still alive, and he goes home. His father cannot bear the grief of Elizabeth's death and dies soon after.

Circumstances take their toll on Victor's mental health. He is kept in solitary confinement for a while. He is released and approaches the magistrate directly.


Victor seeks revenge and requests the law for help. He tells his tale to the magistrate, who, although incredulous, assures him that he will help. But Victor is not convinced, and with rage in his eyes, he decides to settle the matter himself.

Notes

Victor's happiness is short-lived, as was the monster's. Finding Elizabeth dead is the ultimate shock. His love for her pours out after her death. He embraces her body ardently and weeps over her.

In extreme fury he tries to attack the escaping monster, but fails. He now realizes that the monster may want to kill his brother and father, too, so he goes back to Geneva. Unfortunately, his father dies, unable to bear the horror of the situation. In this respect, the monster has been successful in his mission to destroy his own creator. He aims at reducing Victor to a state of isolation not unlike his own.

Victor chooses to confess his story to the law, although it is almost too late. The thought of being labeled a madman no longer bothers him. He is consumed by a desire for revenge. The magistrate sees the madness and the rage in Victor's eyes. He tries to convince Victor that he is suffering from delirium, and Victor ironically replies, "Man . . . how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!" This is exactly what Victor himself has done: he has carried his "pride of wisdom" so far that he has betrayed his ignorance of the deadly consequences.

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