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Frankenstein is a novel written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. It is also known as The Modern Prometheus. Shelley wrote the story at eighteen. It was inspired while on a rainy vacation in 1816 to Lake Geneva where Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and the doctor John Polidori challenged each other to see who could write the better horror story. Mary had a dream after several days contemplating her story about a scientist who successfully created life but was horrified by what he had created. The story is considered to be one of the earliest stories of science fiction.

The story concerns eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein who brings to life a grotesque creation in one of his scientific experiments. It starts with the captain of a ship, Robert Walton, writing a letter to Margaret Saville, his sister. His ship is heading for the North Pole and Robert describes that the crew of his ship discovered a man who was adrift at sea. The man was Victor Frankenstein and he offers to tell Robert his story.

Victor Frankenstein enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Switzerland with a loving family that adopted orphans. One orphan was the gorgeous Elizabeth, who grows close to Victor and becomes his friend and love. Victor also has a best friend, Henry Clerval. Victor’s mother dies from scarlet fever just before he turns seventeen and goes to the University at Ingoldstadt. Victor becomes interested in “natural philosophy” and begins to study the secrets of life so fervently he loses touch with his family. But he rises to the top of the field and discovers the secret of life and how to reanimate dead tissue one night. Armed with visions of creating a new race, Victor begins experimenting.

However, Victor’s first experiment results in a hideous creature. Victor was forced to make him eight feet tall an assembled from various body parts. The monster’s appearance is so ugly, with yellow eyes and skin that barely covers the tissue and muscle underneath that Victor abandons him and the creature is sad at being rejected by his creator. Victor becomes sick from the whole ordeal and his best friend Henry helps him heal. Victor hopes that the creature has disappeared for good, but receives news later that his youngest brother has been murdered. He returns home to Geneva.

Victor witnesses the creature at the site of the murder and fears that the creature has killed his brother, but thinks that no one will believe him. So Frankenstein keeps quiet about his suspicions. However, Justine of his family was William’s nanny. She is accused of the crime after William’s locket was found in her pocket. She is convicted and hanged. Being sure that it was his creation that killed William, Frankenstein is overwhelmed with guilt. He flees to the mountains, where the monster follows and finds him.

The monster begs Victor to hear his story. He has grown articulate and describes how he was scared of people because of his encounters with them and went into the woods, where he learned to speak by listening to a family in the woods and taught himself to read from a pile of forgotten books. He witnessed his own reflection in a pool and realized he was physically hideous. He tried to be friends with the family, but they fled from him. The monster burned the cabin in a fit of rage. He asks Victor to create a female companion for him, that he deserves happiness, and that they will vanish to the woods of South America if Victor grants the request. Victor agrees.

Victor’s father tells Victor he wishes Victor to marry Elizabeth. Henry must go to England first. Henry comes with Victor to England and they part in Scotland. Victor works on the mate in the Orkney Islands but foresees disaster in their potential breeding. He destroys the creature upon seeing the Monster watching in the window. The monster tells he will be with Victor and Elizabeth on the wedding night. He kills Henry, and leaves the body for where Victor returns to Ireland. Victor is imprisoned for murder and has a breakdown before he is acquitted. Victor marries Elizabeth and searches for the creature. While he is gone, the monster murders Elizabeth. Victor’s father dies of grief.

Victor tracks the monster to the North Pole but is trapped on ice. He is then rescued by Walton’s ship. Walton writes to his sister that Victor died soon after being rescued and writes of the monster grieving over the body of Victor Frankenstein. The monster tells Walton he has suffered more than anyone after Walton accuses it of having no remorse. With his creator dead, the creature has his revenge, and the monster will end his own life.

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