Mary Shelley’s – Frankenstein
Mary Shelley’s story begins with Robert Walton, a sailor, who is looking for a new passage from Russia to the Pacific Ocean by crossing the Arctic Ocean.
Months later the ship’s crew finds Victor Frankenstein on a small ice glacier at death’s door. They bring him to the ship and that is when he tells everyone his very sad story.
Victor Frankenstein is the son of Caroline and Alphonse Frankenstein who grows up in Geneva, Switzerland. His parents are passionate travellers so a few years after Victor’s birth they travel to Italy. One day they visit a farm and in that moment as Caroline, Victor’s mother, walks in the door she falls in love with a most beautiful little girl. She is an orphan and her name is Elisabeth Lavenza. She wants to adopt her and proceeds to do so. Elisabeth is so happy to have a family and she is such a cheerful child. Later on Caroline is infected with Scarlet Fever and Elisabeth takes care of her, but she unfortunately Caroline dies.
Victor realises how much he loves science and so he prepares to leave for his studies at the University of Ingolstadt.
In Ingolstadt he gets to know his professors M. Krempe and M. Waldman. Two years pass by and he is very involved in his studies and his ambition is to re-create a new life, by bringing a dead body and back to life. He spends day and night creating it and as he brings the creature back to life he realises what monster he has created. Afraid, Victor runs away, the monster leaves his apartment and goes into the woods, and Victor doesn’t see him anymore. Victor makes himself very ill by the shock and worry of it all and it is his best friend, Henry Clerval, who takes care of him during his illness.
One day Victor receives a letter from his father telling him he must return to Geneva immediately because his younger brother William has been strangled to death. This news shocks Victor even more, so he returns to Geneva and as he sees his brother’s body he realises that the monster he made, killed him. Victor doesn’t go to the police because he feels guilty of having created such a thing. Unfortunately, the police accuse Justine Moritz, their housekeeper, of the murder.
After this tragedy Victor decides to leave Geneva and he visits Montanvert, where he meets the monster. They take refuge in a small hut and the monster begins to tell his story…
The monster had taught himself to read and understand the language so that he could follow the lives of his “adopted” family, the De Laceys. He found some notes in a jacket he found in the woods. The monster realized they once belonged to Victor. By reading them he understood that he was not like all the other people, he was different from mankind and so he wanted a companion. He wanted Victor to create another monster.
Victor refuses his wish but the monster convinces him and he says he will leave Europe and move to South America if he creates another creature like him.
Victor agrees to begin his work on a second creation and makes plans to go to England and Scotland, with Henry Clerval. Before he leaves Geneva, Victor agrees to marry Elisabeth immediately after his return from Britain.
He stays on the Orkney Islands and he begins his work. He thinks a lot about the monsters‘ words but he cannot create another one so he destroys it. He put so many people’s lives at risk because he created the monster and he doesn’t want relive that shock again. He finds a boat and goes out to sea. Before he leaves Victor meets the monster again and breaks off the agreement. The monster vows revenge on Victor by murdering his family.
There’s a big storm and Victor’s boat gets blown off course and he ends up in Ireland. With Henry Clerval’s dead body having been washed up on Ireland’s shores, Victor feels guilty of having caused so many deaths and so he decides to go back to Geneva and marry Elisabeth as soon as possible.
The wedding goes off as planned and while Victor makes sure he barricades all the possible entrances the monster could use to get into the house, the monster climbs into Elisabeth’s room and strangles her.
Victor now wants revenge and chases the monster through Europe and Russia. Victor nearly catches the monster near the Arctic Circle when Robert Walton discovers him. Victor, now dying, is taken aboard Walton’s ship to recover.
The monster enters the cabin of the ship and tells Walton his side of the story. Victor dies, and the monster tells Walton that now his enemy is dead he doesn’t have anything or anybody else and he promises he will never come back or torment anybody ever again. The monster then disappears in the waves and darkness, and never comes back!
Mary Shelley is a great author! I had no problems understanding her story because she explains things in such a detailed way and I really like that.
I don’t think this novel is a horror; it’s a tragic Gothic story. At the time Mary Shelley wrote it, people thought no such thing could ever happen. If we look back and think of how much mankind has created we have arrived at a point where our world is changing, where people are changing. Nobody knows what will happen in 50 years’ time. I think as time progresses, the world changes, people change because who knows, maybe one day people will be able to re-create such creatures. I don’t know now and Mary Shelley didn’t know at that time and it’s better that way.
Mary Wollestonecraft (Godwin) Shelley was born on August 30, 1797 in London, England to philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollestonecraft. Both her parents were very well known writers in the 19th century.
When Mary was born, William and Mary had only been married for five months. Four weeks after giving birth, Mary Wollestonecraft died of complications. Mary Shelley never knew her mother. Her father remarried a woman named Mrs. Clairmont when Mary was four years old.
She enjoyed writing at a young age, and her passion was to write stories intended for a very limited audience. Between June 1812 and March 1814, Mary lived with relatives in Scotland. When she returned to London she met Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their relationship began. In 1814 they got married and in February 1815, Mary gave birth to a daughter, who was born prematurely and then died in March. Mary and her husband later moved to Bishopgate, England, and a second child, William, was born.
In 1816 they moved to Marlow, England and a third child, Clara Everina, was born. In 1818, they left England for Italy to escape mounting debts and to improve Percy’s health. It was during this time that both children died; Clara died in September 1818, and William died in June, in 1819. In 1822 her husband was drowned at sea and this changed Mary’s life completely. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author.
Mary Shelley died at the age of 53 from a brain tumor.
(c) Emily Insam