Mary Shelley / Frankenstein / 1818

Walton tries in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation. Walton goes to the land of mist and snow but shall kill no albatross. There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. Walton sees a carriage, fixed on a sledge and drawn by dogs, pass on towards the north, at the distance of half a mile. Walton begins to love Dr. Frankenstein as a brother. Frankenstein tells his story. Victor Frankenstein’s father tells him, “Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash.” Victor enters with the greatest diligence into the search for the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life. For a time he is occupied with exploded systems. Victor’s mother dies. The smile that plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed a sacrilege, is not banished. Professor Krempe asks Victor, “Have you really spent your time in studying such nonsense? Every minute, every instant that you have wasted on those books is utterly and entirely lost.” Mr. Waldman takes Victor to his laboratory and explains the uses of his various machines. Victor sees how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain. Victor resolves to make the being of a gigantic stature, that is, about eight feet in height, and proportionately large. Victor leaves the creature alone in his apartment, alive and walking about. Elizabeth writes Victor a letter. Victor’s father Alphonse Frankenstein writes Victor a letter telling him William is dead. Wandering in the wilderness, Victor sees the creature, illuminated by lightning. Justine is blamed for William’s death. Victor goes to Justine in prison, she manacled and sitting on straw. Victor bears a hell within him. Justine is executed. Victor wanders to the valley of Chamounix. “I expected this reception,” said the demon. “Listen to my tale.” The creature tells his tale. “It was dark when I awoke. I felt cold also, and half frightened, as it were […] I had covered myself with some clothes, but these were insufficient to secure me from the dews of night.” The creature tries to imitate the pleasant songs of birds but is unable. The creature wanders. Hearing music, the creature experiences a mixture of pain and pleasure. The creature overhears Felix read to Safie, Volney’s Ruins of Empires. The creature reads Paradise Lost, a volume of Plutarch’s Lives, and the Sorrows of Werter. The creature, like the arch-fiend, bears a hell within him. The creature is shot, but lives, and vows vengeance to all mankind. The creature kills a father and his son, and takes the locket. The creature demands a creature of another sex, but as hideous as myself. The tale had occupied the whole day. Frankenstein sees the lifeless form of Clerval.

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2 Comments on “Mary Shelley / Frankenstein / 1818”

  1. April Thomas says:

    Loved learning about Mary Shelly in High School.


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