Frankenstein Summary By Mary Shelley

Frankenstein Summary By Mary Shelley


An Introductory Note:

[Frankenstein Summary By Mary Shelley]

At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, he assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness.

Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley (1797–1851) that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared in the second edition, published in 1823.


Frankenstein opens in an epistolary style, with letters from Captain Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret. The narrative then switches to Victor Frankenstein. In Gothic novels this technique, termed ‘nesting’, is often used: stories are cradled within stories, as characters relate their tales. En route to the North Pole, Walton rescues Victor from the ice. The latter recalls his happy youth in Geneva with his family and his friend, Henry Clerval. At the University of Ingolstadt Victor embarks upon scientific experiments to discover the secret of life, hoping to produce a living creature from body parts.

His meddling has tragic consequences. Having achieved his aim, he is horror stricken at the outcome. Subsequently the creature goes missing. When Victor receives news of his brother’s death he guesses who is responsible; however, Justine Moritz is accused and executed for the crime. Victor’s guilt is now compounded. The creature laments that he is lonely. His words are poignant: it becomes apparent that he is not innately evil. To his acute distress, the people he has encountered have reacted with terror and loathing; yet he is desperate to belong to a family. Thus the creature is depicted as an innocent victim who becomes malign after being rejected by his maker and by society.

He declares: ‘I am malicious because I am miserable’, and pleads with Victor to fashion a mate for him. Later Victor destroys the female companion, causing the creature to seek revenge. Henry’s violent demise is followed by the murder of Victor’s bride, Elizabeth, and his father’s death from grief. Victor, in turn, pursues the creature to exact vengeance, which leads to a dramatic confrontation. After Victor dies, the creature weeps over him. Isolated and remorseful, he departs to face his own fate.

An Analytical Summary:


I. Letters 1 to 4 :

Frankenstein opens with a preface, signed by Mary Shelley but commonly supposed to have been written by her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. It states that the novel  was begun during a summer vacation in the Swiss Alps, when unseasonably rainy weather and nights spent reading German ghost stories inspired the author and her literary companions to engage in a ghost story writing contest, of which this work is the only completed product .

The novel itself begins with a series of letters from the explorer Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret Saville. Walton, a well-to-do Englishman with a passion for seafaring, is the captain of a ship headed on a dangerous voyage to the North Pole. In the first letter, he tells his sister of the preparations leading up to his departure and of the desire burning in him to accomplish “some great purpose”discovering a northern passage to the Pacific, revealing the source of the Earth’s magnetism, or simply setting foot on undiscovered territory. In the second letter, Walton bemoans his lack of friends. He feels lonely and isolated, too sophisticated to find comfort in his shipmates and too uneducated to find a sensitive soul with whom to share his dreams.

He shows himself a Romantic, with his “love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous,” which pushes him along the perilous, lonely pathway he has chosen. In the brief third letter, Walton tells his sister that his ship has set sail and that he has full confidence that he will achieve his aim. In the fourth letter, the ship stalls between huge sheets of ice, and Walton and his men spot a sledge guided by a gigantic creature about half a mile away. The next morning, they encounter another sledge stranded on an ice floe.

All but one of the dogs drawing the sledge is dead, and the man on the sledge not the man seen the night before-is emaciated, weak, and starving. Despite his condition, the man refuses to board the ship until Walton tells him that it is heading north. The stranger spends two days recovering, nursed by the crew, before he can speak. The crew is burning with curiosity, but Walton, aware of the man’s still-fragile state, prevents his men from burdening the stranger with questions. As time passes, Walton and the stranger become friends, and the stranger eventually consents to tell Walton his story. At the end of the fourth letter, Walton states that the visitor will commence his narrative the next day; Walton’s framing narrative ends and the stranger’s begins.

IL Chapters 1 to 4 :

The stranger, Victor Frankenstein, says he was born in Naples and grew up in Geneva Switzerland. His father, Alphonse, and his mother, Caroline, first became close when Alphonse’s friend and Caroline’s father, Beaufort, died. Alphonse became Caroline’s protector, and eventually married her. When he was five, his mother discovered a beautiful blonde orphan girl named Elizabeth Lavenza in an Italian village and adopted her. Victor, his parents, and all the Frankensteins adored Elizabeth. She became to him a “more than sister.” The two children referred to each other as cousins, rather than brother and sister.

Victor describes his perfect childhood. He and Elizabeth she favored poetry while he longed to unravel the “physical secrets” of life, including the “hidden laws of nature.” In addition to Elizabeth, Victor shares a close friendship with Henry Clerval, his well-read schoolmate. Like Victor, Clerval possesses a “soaring ambition” to leave his mark on human history. As he grows up, Victor becomes fascinated with “natural philosophy,” and reads widely among the thinkers in this field who want to penetrate the “citadel of nature.”

One day, when Victor observes lightning strikes a tree, he realizes that the laws of science are beyond human understanding and decides to focus on studies based in fact, like mathematics, rather than natural philosophy. Yet he get along perfectly,, though that he eventually returned to it, leading to his “utter and terrible destruction.” Just before Victor turns seventeen, Elizabeth catches scarlet fever and passes it on to Victor’s mother, who dies. Her dying wish is for Victor and Elizabeth to marry. Still in grief, Victor says goodbye to Clerval, Elizabeth, and his father and leaves to study at Ingolstadt, a university in Germany.

He meets with his professor of natural philosophy, M. Krempe, who tells Victor that his previous studies have all been a waste of time. Yet Victor then attends a class with M. Waldman, a chemistry professor, whose lecture on the power and recent successes of science inspire Victor to dedicate himself to revealing “to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.” The next day Victor visits Waldman, who supports his plan.

Victor becomes so caught up in natural philosophy that he ignores everything else, including his family. He progresses rapidly, and suddenly after two years of work he discovers the secret to creating life. Victor decides to build a race of beings, starting with one creature. He spends months alone in his apartment building a body to reanimate, spurred on by the lure of fame and glory, imagining a “new species” that will bless him as its creator.

II. Chapters 5 to 8 :

One stormy night, after months of labor, Victor completes his creation. But when he brings it to life, its awful appearance horrifies him. He rushes to the next room and tries to sleep, but he is troubled by nightmares about Elizabeth and his mother’s corpse. He wakes to discover the monster looming over his bed with a grotesque smile and rushes out of the house. He spends the night pacing in his courtyard. The next morning, he goes walking in the town of Ingolstadt, frantically avoiding a return to his now-haunted apartment.

As he walks by the town inn, Victor comes across his friend Henry Clerval, who has just arrived to begin studying at the university. Delighted to see Henry-a breath of fresh air and a reminder of his family after so many months of isolation and ill health-he brings him back to his apartment. Victor enters first and is relieved to find no sign of the monster. But, weakened by months of work and shock at the horrific being he has created, he immediately falls ill with a nervous fever that lasts several months. Henry nurses him back to health and, when Victor has recovered, gives him a letter from Elizabeth that had arrived during his illness.

Elizabeth’s letter expresses her concern about Victor’s illness and entreats him to write to his family in Geneva as soon as he can. She also tells him that Justine Moritz, a girl who used to live with the Frankenstein family, has returned to their house following her mother’s death. After Victor has recovered, he introduces Henry, who is studying Oriental languages, to the professors at the university. The task is painful, however, since the sight of any chemical instrument worsens Victor’s symptoms; even speaking to his professors torments him.

He decides to return to Geneva and awaits a letter from his father specifying the date of his departure. Meanwhile, he and Henry take a walking tour through the country, uplifting their spirits with the beauties of nature their return to the university, Victor finds a letter from his father telling him that Victor’s youngest brother, William, has been murdered. Saddened, shocked, and apprehensive, Victor departs immediately for Geneva. By the time he arrives, night has fallen and the gates of Geneva have been shut, so he spends the evening walking in the woods around the outskirts of the town.

As he walks near the spot where his brother’s body was found, he spies the monster lurking and becomes convinced is responsible for killing William. The next day, however , when he returns home, Victor learns that Justine has been accused of the murder. After the discovery of the body, a servant had found in Justine’s pocket a picture of Caroline Frankenstein last seen in William’s possession, Victor proclaims Justine’s innocence, but the evidence against her seems irrefutable, and Victor refuses to explain himself for fear that he will be labeled insane. salvation, but tells that his creation Justine confesses to the crime, believing that she will thereby gain Elizabeth and Victor that she is innocent and miserable.

They remain convinced of her innocence, but Justine is soon executed. Victor becomes consumed with guilt, knowing that the monster he created and the cloak of secrecy within which the creation took place have now caused the deaths of two members of his family.

IV. Chapters 9 to 12 :

Victor despairs that his good intentions have resulted in such Frankensteins go to their vacation home in Belrive to escape the bad memories of what happened. Yet Victor still has thoughts of suicide and begins to desire revenge against the monster. One day Elizabeth tells Victor that she no longer sees the world the same way after witnessing the execution of an innocent. A while later Victor decides to travel to Chamonix, France, hoping the trip will provide relief from his “ephemeral, because human, sorrows.” Along the way he gazes at waterfalls and the towering Mont Blanc. times the sights remind him of happier times, but never for long. horror. 

At Chamonix, Victor continues to feel despair. He again tries to escape it through nature: he climbs to the peak of a mountain called Montanvert. But just as the view begins to lift his spirits, Victor sees the monster. He curses it and wishes for its destruction. But with great eloquence the monster claims to be Victor’s offspring. “I ought to be thy Adam,” it says. The monster continues that it was once benevolent, and turned to violence only after Victor, its creator, abandoned it. It begs Victor to listen to its story. Victor, for the first time thinking about his responsibilities as a creator, follows the monster to a cave in the glacier, and sits down to listen.

The monster describes its early days after being created: running from Victor’s apartment, seeing light and dark and feeling hunger and cold, and discovering fire and its ability to both cook and burn. Wherever the monster goes its appearance terrifies humans, so it decides to avoid them. Eventually it finds a place to hide in the darkness near the side of a cottage. Inside it observes a man, woman, and an old man, and it watches them at their daily tasks.

The monster wonders why the family seems unhappy and realizes it is because the old man is blind and the family is poor and hungry. To make up for adding to their misery by eating their food, it gathers wood for them and leaves it outside their cottage at night. It also realizes they communicate through sound, and sets about learning their language.

It learns that the young man is named Felix, and the girl, Agatha. One day the monster sees itself in a pool of water. He realizes finally why people have screamed and run when they see him. Yet the monster becomes convinced that with gentle words and actions he could get the family to see past his awful appearance. Spring comes, lifting everyone’s spirits. The monster looks to the future with hope.

As winter thaws into spring, the monster notices that the cottagers, particularly Felix, seem unhappy. A beautiful woman in a dark dress and veil arrives at the cottage on horseback and asks to see Felix, Felix becomes ecstatic the moment he sees her. The woman, who does not speak the language of the cottagers, is named Safie. She moves into the cottage, and the mood of the household immediately brightens. As Safie learns the language of the cottagers, so does the monster.

He also learns to read, and, since Felix uses Constantin-François de Volney’s Ruins of Empires to instruct Safie, he learns a bit of world history in the process. Now able to speak and understand the language perfectly , the monster learns about human society by listening to the cottagers’ conversations. Reflecting on his own situation, he realizes that he is deformed and alone. “Was I then a monster,” he asks, “a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled, and whom all men disowned?” He also learns about the pleasures and obligations of the family and of human relations in general, which deepens the agony of

V. Chapters 13 to 16 :

his own isolation. After some time, the monster’s constant eavesdropping allows him to reconstruct the history of the cottagers. The old man, De Lacey, was once an affluent and successful citizen in Paris; his children, Agatha and Felix, were well-respected members of the community. Safie’s father, a Turk, was falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to death. Felix visited the Turk in prison and met his daughter, with whom he immediately fell in love. Safie sent Felix letters thanking him for his intention to help her father and recounting the circumstances of her plight (the monster tells Victor that he copied some of these letters and offers them as proof that his tale is true).

The letters relate that Safie’s mother was a Christian Arab who had been enslaved by the Turks before marrying her father. She inculcated in Safie an independence and intelligence that Islam prevented Turkish women from cultivating. Safie was eager to marry a European man and thereby escape the near-slavery that awaited her in Turkey. Felix successfully coordinated her father’s escape from prison, but when the plot was discovered, Felix, Agatha, and De Lacey were exiled from France and stripped of their wealth. They then moved into the cottage in Germany upon which the monster has stumbled. Meanwhile, the Turk tried to force Safie to return to Constantinople with him, but she managed to escape with some money and the knowledge of Felix’s whereabouts.

While foraging for food in the woods around the cottage one night, the monster finds an abandoned leather satchel containing some clothes and books. Eager to learn more about the world than he can discover through the chink in the cottage wall, he brings the books back to his hovel and begins to read. The books include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Sorrows of Werter, a volume of Plutarch’s Lives, and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the last of which has the most profound effect on the monster. Unaware that Paradise Lost is a work of imagination, he reads it as a factual history and finds much similarity between the story and his own situation.

Rifling through the pockets of his own clothes, stolen long ago from Victor’s apartment, he finds some papers from Victor’s journal. With his newfound ability to read, he soon understands the horrific manner of his own creation and the disgust with which his creator regarded him. Dismayed by these discoveries, the monster wishes to reveal himself to the cottagers in the hope that they will see past his hideous exterior and befriend him.

He decides to approach the blind De Lacey first, hoping to win him over while Felix, Agatha, and Safie are away. He believes that De Lacey, unprejudiced against his hideous exterior, may be able to convince the others of his gentle nature. The perfect opportunity soon presents itself, as Felix, Agatha, and Safie depart one day for a long walk . The monster nervously enters the cottage and begins to speak to the old man. Just as he begins to explain his situation, however, the other three return unexpectedly. Felix drives the monster away, horrified by his appearance.

In the wake of this rejection, the monster swears to revenge human beings, his creator in particular. Journeying for months out of sight of others, he makes his way toward Geneva. On the way, he spots a young girl, seemingly alone; the girl slips into a stream and appears to be on the verge of drowning. When the monster rescues the girl from the water, the man accompanying her, suspecting him of having attacked her, shoots him. As he nears Geneva, the monster runs across Victor’s younger brother, William, in the woods.

When William mentions that his father is Alphonse Frankenstein, the monster erupts in a rage of vengeance and strangles the boy to death with his bare hands. He takes a picture of Caroline Frankenstein that the boy has been holding and places it in the folds of the dress of a girl sleeping in a barn—Justine Moritz, who is later executed for William’s murder. Having explained to Victor the circumstances behind William’s murder and Justine’s conviction, the monster implores Victor to create another monster to accompany him and be his mate.

VI. Chapters 17 to 20 :

The monster tells Victor that it is his right to have a female monster Victor refuses at first, but the monster appeals to Victor’s sense of responsibility as his creator. He tells Victor that all of his evil actions have been the result of a desperate loneliness. He promises to take his new mate to South America to hide in the jungle far from human contact. With the sympathy of a fellow monster, he argues, he will no longer be compelled to kill. Convinced by these arguments, Victor finally agrees to create a female monster, Overjoyed but still skeptical, the monster tells Victor that he will monitor Victor’s progress and that Victor need not worry about contacting him when his work is done.  


Almost immediately, Victor begins to question the wisdom of creating for the monster and delays. He also realizes that to complete the project he’ll have to do some research in England. Alphonse senses Victor’s distress, and thinks it might stem from some reluctance on Victor’s part to marry Elizabeth. Victor assures his father he’d like nothing more than to marry Elizabeth. Alphonse suggests they marry immediately as a cure for the family’s recent sorrow. But Victor does not want to marry his bargain with the monster hanging over his head, and uses the trip he has to take to England as an excuse to put the wedding off. Alphonse and Victor agree that he will go to England for a time not to exceed a year, and that Clerval, looking to pursue his studies after having to spend some time working for his father, will accompany him. Yet Victor to feel like a “wretch.”

continues Victor and Clerval arrive in London in October. Victor continues to despair, avoiding people unless they have information that can help him create a second monster. Clerval, in contrast, is how Victor used to be: excited by learning and wanting to meet and talk to everyone. Victor and Clerval travel to Scotland. There, Victor leaves Clerval with a friend and travels on alone. He goes to a remote island in the Orkney’s, sets up a lab, and works in solitude on his secret project.

One night in his lab, Victor worries that the new creature he’s creating might refuse to live away from humans, or that the two monsters might produce a “race of devils.” Just then he looks up and sees the monster “grinning” at the window. Overwhelmed by loathing, Victor destroys his work. Outside, the monster howls in agony, and disappears. Hours later, the monster returns to Victor’s lab. It now refers to Victor only as -Man” and vows revenge. It promises: “I shall be with you on your wedding night.”

Victor thinks the monster means to kill him on that night, and fears for Elizabeth left alone as a widow. A letter soon arrives from Clerval suggesting they resume their travels. Victor gathers up his laboratory materials and rows out into the ocean to dump them. Victor is so happy he takes a nap in his boat. But he wakes into rough weather and can’t get back to shore. Just as he begins to panic, the winds ease. When Victor lands a group of angry townspeople gathers around his boat. He’s a suspect in a murder that occurred the previous night, and sent to meet with Mr. Kirwin, a local magistrate.

VII. Chapters 21 to 24 :

Kirwin’s office, Victor learns that a man in his mid-twenties was found dead on the shore with black marks on his neck. And various witnesses testify that a boat much like Victor’s was seen at sea. Victor is taken to see the body. It is Clerval. Victor falls into convulsions, and remains bedridden and delusional for two months. When Victor regains awareness he is still in prison. Mr. Kirwin treats him kindly, advising him that he’ll likely be freed. He also tells Victor that his father has come to see him. Two weeks later, Victor is released because the court has nothing but circumstantial evidence against him. Despairing and determined to protect his family from the monster, Victor returns with his father to Geneva.

At their way home, father and son stop in Paris, where Victor rests to recover his strength. Just before leaving again for Geneva, Victor receives a letter from Elizabeth. Worried by Victor’s recurrent illnesses, she asks him if he is in love with another, to which Victor replies that she is the source of his joy. The letter reminds him of the monster’s threat that he will be with Victor on his wedding night. He believes that the monster intends to attack him and resolves that he will fight back. Whichever one of them is destroyed, his misery will at last come to an end.

Eventually, Victor and his father arrives home and begin planning the wedding. Elizabeth is still worried about Victor, but he assures her that all will be well after the wedding. He has a terrible secret, he tells her that he can only reveal to her after they are married. As the wedding day approaches, Victor grows more and more nervous about his impending confrontation with the monster. Finally, the wedding takes place, and Victor and Elizabeth depart for a family cottage to spend the night.

In the evening, Victor and Elizabeth walk around the grounds, but Victor can think of nothing but the monster’s imminent arrival. Inside, Victor worries that Elizabeth might be upset by the monster’s appearance and the battle between them. He tells her to retire for the night. He begins to search for the monster in the house, when suddenly he hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that it was never his death that the monster had been intending this night.

Consumed with grief over Elizabeth’s death, Victor returns home and tells his father the gruesome news. Shocked by the tragic end of what should have been a joyous day, his father died few days later. Victor finally breaks his secrecy and tries to convince a magistrate in Geneva that an unnatural monster is responsible for the death of Elizabeth, but the magistrate does not believe him. Victor resolves to devote the rest of his life to finding and destroying the monster.

His whole family destroyed, Victor decides to leave Geneva and the painful memories it holds behind him forever. He tracks the monster for months, guided by slight clues, messages, and hints that the monster leaves for him. Angered by these taunts, Victor continues his pursuit into the ice and snow of the North. There he meets Walton and tells his story. He entreats Walton to continue his search for vengeance after he is dead.

VIII. Final Letters :

The novel returns to the frame of Walton’s letters to his sister, a letter on August 26, Walton says that he believes Victor’s story and recalls how Victor described himself as the victim of “lofty ambition,” which brought him to despair. Walton laments that he did not know Victor when they could have been friends. As Walton writes, “I have sought one who would sympathize with and love me.” Yet while Victor responded kindly to his offers of friendship, he remained fixated on his only remaining destiny: to destroy the monster. In a letter on September 2, Walton tells Margaret that his ship and crew are in grave danger: the ship is now surrounded entirely by ice. He blames himself for their fate and says they may all die as a result of his “mad schemes.”

He fears a mutiny. In a letter on September 5, Walton says that his crew have demanded that he turn the ship around and head for home as soon as the ice frees them. Victor speaks up in his defense, telling the rebellious crew members they should “be men,” for they had set out to be the “benefactors of [their] species.” The speech changes the crew’s mind, but Walton fears only temporarily. He says he’d rather die than return in shame with his “purpose unfulfilled.” In a letter on September 7, Walton says he has agreed to the crew’s demand to turn back. He considers what has happened an injustice.


Mary Shelley’s novel is a complex work that defies classification. She successfully blended realist, Gothic and Romantic elements to produce an enduring literary masterpiece. Her strategy of employing multiple narrators (Walton, Victor, the creature) means that there is not a single consistent viewpoint or message; rather, the text lends itself to a range of interpretations.

It is realistic in detailing Victor’s family life, education, career aspirations, intention to marry, and so on; but the sub-title, The Modern Prometheus, alerts us to Mary’s aim of producing a new version of an ancient Greek myth. In the legend, Prometheus was a Titan who brought enlightenment and knowledge to mankind. The gods punished him when he stole fire from Mount Olympus. He was chained to a rock; every day an eagle tore out and devoured his liver; each night the organ would grow back. There are clear analogies between the stories of Victor and Prometheus: hubris leads to tragedy, and both suffer torments as a consequence of their actions. Frankenstein also echoes the Genesis account of Adam and Eve and John Milton’s Paradise Lost.



In 1816 Lord Byron and his physician, John Polidari, were staying at the Villa Diodati near Geneva. One stormy night in June, they were spending time with Shelley, Mary and Claire. Incessant torrential rain had trapped them indoors, and Byron challenged the group to produce their own ghost stories. They were inspired by German tales (trans

lated into French), from a collection of volumes called Fantasmagoriana. In the preface to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, Mary claimed that she experienced a nightmare in which she pictured a ‘pale student of the unhallowed arts’ and the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out’ . In the dream she saw the figure ‘stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion’. ‘At first I thought but of a few pages of a short tale; but Shelley urged me to develop the idea at greater length! She knew that the Italian Luigi Galvani had experimented with stimulating the muscles of dead frogs in the 1780s, and was aware that scientists were exploring the possibility of using electrical power to regenerate human corpses. Her childhood home had been visited by the chemists Humphry Davy and William Nicholson, who were interested in galvanic electricity. At the age of fourteen Mary had witnessed some of Davy’s experiments at the Royal Institute, and she described herself as ‘a devout but nearly silent listener to Byron and Shelley’s animated discussions about science.

Character List:

 Victor Frankenstein -He is the main character, a man driven by ambition and scientific curiosity. His quest for absolute knowledge and power will eventually end in his

Elizabeth Lavenza – Victor’s bride. Elizabeth is presented as being angelically good and incomparably beauty: she represents ideal womanhood and its promises of love and comfort.

Caroline – Victor’s mother; a paradigm of motherly concern and generosity. Her death provides the catalyst for Victor’s desire to transcend death. It is her last wish that Victor and Elizabeth be married.

Alphonse – Victor’s father; yet another shining example of kindness and selflessness. His happiness depends on the happiness of his children. If they fail, he does as well; thus, their deaths prefigure his own.

William The youngest son of the Frankenstein family. His death at the hands of the monster renders him a symbol of lost and violated innocence. Henry Clerval Victor’s best friend since childhood. Fascinated with the history of mankind, he is Victor’s intellectual opposite. He, too, will be murdered by the monster; he is perhaps a symbol of the destruction of Victor’s own goodness and potential.

Justine – Though a servant in the Frankenstein household, she is more like a sister to Victor and Elizabeth. She is executed for William’s murder, and thus becomes yet another martyr to lost virtue and innocence.

The Creature / The Monster The work of Frankenstein’s hands, the creature is his double, his persecutor, and his victim. The lives of him and his creator are inextricably entwined.

Robert Walton The reader’s representative in the novel, he is the person to whom Victor relates his story. He has much in common with Victor: ambition, drive, and the desire for glory.

De– The head of the household observed by the creature, de Lacey has been robbed of his fortunes as a result of his own kindness. His blindness makes him capable of recognizing the creature’s sincerity and goodness despite his hideous appearance.

Felix The son of de Lacey, he is devoted to his family and his mistress, Safie. Though noble, he drives the creature from the family cottage with stones. He thereby symbolizes one of the basic flaws in the human character: the hatred of difference.

Agatha – The daughter of De Lacey, she is an example of selfless womanhood, caring for her brother and her father despite their poverty and her own sadness.

Safie – The betrothed of Felix. She is presented as exotically beautiful, and is racially fetishized for her Turkishness. The de Lacey family wishes to marry her to Felix and convert her to Christianity.


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