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Frankenstein is one of the most remarkable novels in the English

Literature. It was published in 1818 in London anonymously, although


later on it was discovered that Mary Shelley was the author. The novel
became quite popular and reached the homes of a wide range of British
citizens and even spread all over the world.
Frankenstein is a Gothic novel. In short, a Gothic novel is
characterized by the aim to stir and create terror in the reader by means
of murders, haunted castles, dead heroines and blood. For further
information on his genre, consult the links at the end of this document.
Frankenstein deals with ethical issues such as the need for a
companion in life, the prejudices of society as regards to beauty and
appearance and revenge among other issues.
It is written with a precise and compelling vocabulary that immerse
the reader into the story.

The Author
Mary Shelley is Frankenstein´s author. She is Mary Wollstonecraft´s daughter.
Her mother was a liberal feminist whose ideas were adopted by her daughter.
Mary Shelley is the wife of another relevant figure in British
Literature: Percy Shelly. The couple had a literate group of friends
including Lord Byron and John Polidori. On a journey to Geneva, Lord
Byron encouraged the rest of the group to create an original and terror
story. Surprisingly, it was Mary Shelly with the most outstanding story.
She told her friends about a nightmare that she had the night before
when a doctor, Frankenstein, bring a monster to life. The group was
frightened to listen the story and that was the beginning of the novel
Frankenstein.
Plot
Frankenstein is divided in two parts: Volume I and Volume II.
• Volume I centres on the story of Robert Walton. This character writes
several letters to her
sister Margaret Saville in order to inform her of his advances in his
enterprise. Walton went on a journey to the North Pole with the purpose of
revealing an unspoilt and unknown part of the Earth. The weather
conditions, however, were quite dreadful and he and his crew got stuck. It
is then when they encountered a stranger in a sledge. Walton offers then
man to join them until he recovers because the man looks like he is about
to die.
Some days later, the stranger, Victor Frankenstein, and Robert Walton become
friends. Frankenstein turned out to be the friend that Walton was so long looking
for. They shared they experiences and Frankenstein advised Walton that his life
was very traumatic, and that there were many evils watching him closely as he
dies. Nonetheless, Walton encouraged him to share his story and thus ends
Volume I.
• Volume II centres on Frankenstein´s story. Now the narrator is him rather than
Walton.
Victor begins by giving an accurate and long description of his background: how
his father met and married his mother, how he was raised, how they welcomed
her cousin Elizabeth into the family, and several other details of his upbringing.
• After introducing Walton and readers to his origins and early life, Frankenstein
proceeds to recount the moment in which he brought the monster to life. He was
horrified to discover that he looked like an evil creature and run away. Then, he
became quite ill and his friend Henry visits and nurses him back to health.
Frankenstein returns to Geneva to find out that his little brother William has been
killed.
• Victor thinks that the monster is to blame for William´s assassination. One they,
taking a stroll, Victor believes to encounter the monster in Geneva and seeks to find
him and confront him. Finally, the get together.
• When they met, the monster tells his creator about his own story. It is a poignant
moment in the novel since for the first time the reader accesses the monster´s mind.
Surprisingly, he is not an evil creature.
Rather, he is found alone in the world, with no one to talk to, no one to live with.
Therefore, he hides himself in a forest near a small cottage where an old, blind man
lives with his daughter and son. The monster learns to speak, write and even
History, Mathematics and Geography by listening to them every day. Encouraged
by the family´s kindness and love to each other, the monster tried to introduce
himself and become a member of the family. However, when he entered the house,
the family did not let him explain, they just hated and feared him because he was a
monster in appearance. After that incident, the monster wandered trying to find
friends and people who do not judge him by his appearance, but he only found
hatred and fear in people´s eyes. That is why the monster asks Frankenstein to
create a female monster to be his companion in life.
• Victor at first agrees to bring a female friend to life, but then changes his mind and
decides not to do it. When the monster realizes that his creator will not give him the
companion he asked for, he warns Victor that he will regret it.
• Victor marries Elizabeth. However in the honeymoon, the monster kills Elizabeth.
Victor feels more than miserable: his brother, father and wife have died because of he.
At this point, he decides to chase the monster, find him and kill him.
• Frankenstein, chasing the monster, encounters Walton´s ship, which it´s the beginning
of the story. Walton takes care of Victor and when he ends with his story he dies.
• Finally, the monster appears to say goodbye to his creator and tells his own story to
Walton, who listens attentively to him. Once the monster has described his feelings
and what happened to him, he decides to end with his forlorn life.
“Be calm! I entreat you to hear me before you give vent to your
hatred on my devoted head. Have I not suffered enough, that you
seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may only bean
accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.
Remember, thou hast made me more powerful than thyself; my
height is superior to thine, my joints more supple. But I will not be
tempted to set myself inopposition to thee. I am thy creature, and I
will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king if thou
wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me. Oh,
Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other and trample upon
me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and
affection, is most due.
Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy
Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from
joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am
irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me
a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous”.
(Frankenstein, Chapter 10)