Plot Summary

Through a serious of letters to his sister in England, Robert Walton recounts the dangerous mission he faces. He is captaining a ship that is headed for the North Pole. While he is doing well on the early part of his journey, he ends up trapped due to so much ice in the sea. He is not able to get through to his final destination. At that time he sees Victor Frankenstein. Victor has been travelling across the ice by dog sled and the cold has weakened him to the point that he is very sick. Walton rescues him and gets him onboard the ship. He is planning to help Victor get back to good health. During their time together Victor tells Walton the entire story of how he created the monster and what happened to the monster afterward. Victor begins the story with what his life was like in Geneva, long before he was able to understand the secret of life and create something that actually lived.

The childhood he had was a time he considered to be "blissful" and very happy. He spent it in the company of Henry Clerval and Elizabeth Lavenza. It is important to note that Elizabeth was his cousin in the 1818 edition and his adopted sister in the 1831 edition. When he grew up he went to the University of Ingolstadt in order to study both chemistry and natural philosophy. While he is there studying he becomes basically consumed by the idea behind the secret of life. He is convinced that he can locate that secret and, after several years of research, he thinks he has found the key for which he was searching. He takes the knowledge he has gained and starts to build a creature. He uses any old body parts that he can locate, and essentially pieces the creature together as best he can. It takes him months to complete this. He decides one night to see if his beliefs about the secret of life are really accurate, and he brings the monster to life. He is so horrified by what he creates that he is remorseful and sick. He tries to sleep but the monster keeps standing over him, so he gets up and goes into the streets, wandering around wondering what he should do next.

Henry has also...

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Essays About Frankenstein