The book opens with a scene of a ship in the Arctic Ocean. The ship is stuck in the ice and unable to move. Robert Walton, the ship’s captain, is writing letters to his sister back home. The letters tell of his explorations and the events that occur on the ship. Walton’s crew pulls abord a lifeless body and revive the man back to life. This man is Victor Frankenstein. Walton and Frankenstein talk about why Victor is in the Arctic and Victor explains the horrible and tragic story of the past few years of his life. Victor was born to a very wealthy and popular family.
While he was till young his parents adopted a young girl with whom Victor would grow up with and eventually fall in love with her. Victor goes through medical school and becomes very good friends a classmate, Henry Clerval. Even though Victors young life seams perfect it is all about to change. Victor’s mother died when he was still young and her death would change him for the rest of his life. After Victor’s mother’s death Victor swore he would conquer the mortality of humans. Victor, once he was out of medical school, he began to work on his theory of conquering death.
He collected numerous body arts and put them together and used a special technique to bring the corpse to life. At first Victor thought he had failed, but the creature sat up and was alive. Victor was horrified by his own creation and fled his laboratory. The monster then disappeared into the city. Two years pasted and the monster wasn’t heard from, until something terrible happened. Victor’s younger brother William was strangled to death. It was believed that William’s nanny and close friend of the family, Justine, had murdered him. A lynch mob gathered and drug her off and hanged her.
Later on Victor saw his creature and realized that the monster murdered his brother not Justine. Victor still in shock after his brother’s death went to the mountains. The monster followed him there. When Victor stopped the monster confronted him. The monster explained to Victor how he survived while in hiding. He told Victor of the family he watched through a crack in the wall of the abandoned shack he stayed in and how he learned to read, write, and talk from these people. After a long and detailed conversation the monster told Victor of his deal.
The monster wanted Victor to create another being similar to himself. The monster realized that he was hideous and that no normal human could or would ever love him. The creature that Victor would create for him would be his lifelong partner and they would flee civilization never to return. The other side of the deal was if Victor did not agree the monster would haunt Victor the rest of his life. Since the monster would not have anyone to love neither would Victor because the monster would torture Victor by killing all the people that he loved.
At first Victor agreed to the deal. Days went by and Victor began his project. Half way through he realized that he regretted the first time he did this and he swore to himself that he would not repeat the same mistake again. Victor destroyed the remains of the project and as he was doing this the monster came in the room. Once the monster saw Victor wreaking his laboratory, he became furious. The monster promised Victor he would regret his actions and threatened that Victor should be careful because the monster would be with him on his wedding night.
The monster’s threat did not stop Victor from his plans of marrying Elizabeth, his childhood love. After the wedding Victor hired the best men to guard him and his wife that night. As Victor was checking the guards he heard his wife scream. They rushed into the room, saw the monster fleeing the room, and saw his wife strangled on the bed. Victor then swore that he would track the monster to the ends of the Earth and kill him. The monster lead Victor to the Arctic. This is where Victor was pulled aboard by Capt. Walton and his crew. After Victor finished telling his story to Walton and his crew he fell asleep and died.
Sometime later a rather large and hideous man came aboard the hip and asked if they had seen his father. The men pointed toward Victor’s body and the man/monster wept. The monster built a raft and placed Victor’s body on it and floated out to sea on it. As the crew watched the monster set fire to the raft burning the raft, Victor’s body, and himself to death. Theme/Author’s Message: The theme was that we, as humans, should not play God. We should also not interfere with nature because it is far more powerful than we can possible fathom.
Main Characters: Victor Frankenstein — Young doctor, wealthy family, and creator of the onster The Monster — Creation of Victor Frankenstein, kills William Frankenstein, Henry Clerval, and Elizabeth directly, he indirectly kills Justine, and Victor’s father. Elizabeth Lavenza (Frankenstein) — adopted sister and later wife of Victor. Robert Walton — Captain of a ship that is exploring the Arctic and he nurses Victor to life and is there went Victor dies. Henry Clerval — Friend of Victor. Justine Moritz — Lynched by a mob because it was believed that she killed William Frankenstein.
William Frankenstein — Victor’s youngest brother, killed by monster. Tone: The tone here is dark, mysterious, and eerie. A typical setting for a horror story. Critical Review: I did enjoy reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It is one of the few horror books I have actual read. I chose this book because a friend of mind recommended when I said I had to read a book for school. I had already seen the movie and enjoyed it, so I thought I would also like the book. I did like the ending better in the movie than the book though. The reason is that Vincent actual gets to confront the monster other than running all over the Arctic ooking for it.
I wish though that Victor would have been able to get rid of the monster. Victor should have never let the monster out of his sight, but if that happened there would not be a story. I felt sorry for Victor because of the lose of his wife, but the monster promised he would take away his loved ones. I would recommend this classic to anyone who is in the mood for a good classic. I do say that if you are going to watch the movie though, watch it after reading the book. The movie does spoil the book, because the movie does have a better ending.