Frankenstein chapter summaries

Chapter 2

Description of Elizabeth (kind, generous, womanly) and Henry Clerval (enthusiastic for all sorts of experiences); also Victor’s growing obsession with natural philosophy.

Chapter 3

Elizabeth catches scarlet fever, in nursing her Victor’s mother dies; he goes off to university to pursue his obsession despite his professors’ disdain.

Chapter 4

Victor becomes obsessed with the idea of defeating death and disease; collects body parts to create life meanwhile rejecting his previous life, interests, health and even sleep.

Chapter 5

He animates his creation, is horrified by it and runs away from it. It pursues him till he runs into Clerval who looks after him for several months as he has a breakdown.

Chapter 6

Victor receives a letter from Elizabeth reminding him of his family and responsibilities. Justine introduced and her background as a lovely, decent and upstanding woman.

Chapter 7

Victor receives a letter from his father telling him his brother William has been murdered. Victor travels home. On his way he catches sight of the monster during a dramatic storm. Upon arrival at home his brother Ernest tells him the murderer has been discovered – it is Justine.

Chapter 8

At the trial the evidence is produced – a picture hidden in the pocket of her dress and her absence on the night of the crime. She confesses (afraid of the consequences for her soul) and is hanged despite Elizabeth’s plea on her behalf.

Chapter 9

Victor falls into a deep depression.

Chapter 10

One day while out walking in the mountains the monster approaches him and begs him to listen to his story.

Chapter 11

The monster describes how rejected by his creator he wandered lonely and naked until he found a cloak to cover himself, fire to warm himself, food to feed himself and finally a family to spy upon and learn about the world. Including in his first encounter with other humans their fear and contempt for him when some villagers threw stones at him to drive him away.

Chapter 12

He learned about kindness.

Chapter 13

He learns to read and to talk by listening in on the old man teaching the young Arabian woman.

Chapter 14

He learns about selflessness and high ideals.

Chapter 15

He concocts a plan to be taken in by these kind folk. He is shocked by the violence of their rejection of him.

Chapter 16

In revenge he destroys their now abandoned home and wandering aimlessly he encounters first a young girl whom he saves from drowning in the river but is thanked with a bullet by her young man and then what turns out to be Victor’s young brother whom he inadvertently kills when he refuses to accompany him. He plants evidence of the crime on Justine and flees the scene.

Chapter 17

Now he asks – demands – that Victor make him a mate.

Chapter 18

Victor’s father suggests he and Elizabeth get married soon. He says he must go to England first.

Chapter 19

Victor and Clerval tour England then part company in Scotland from where Victor travels to the Orkneys, hires a cottage and proceeds to make the monster’s mate.

Chapter 20

On seeing the monster spying on him Victor in a frenzy tears up the mate. Upon leaving the island he is arrested for the murder of Henry Clerval.

Chapter 21

He has another breakdown. After 3 months in prison his father arrives and Victor is found to be innocent.

Chapter 22

They return to Geneva. Eventually he and Elizabeth are married.

Chapter 23

Elizabeth is murdered on their wedding night by the monster. Once again Victor is exonerated by the law.

Chapter 24

And Victor sets off around the world in pursuit where finally we end where we started and he meets Walton.

 


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