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After years of experimenting with reanimation, Victor Frankenstein (from Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein) finds success. On a "dreary night" in November, Victor's "son" comes to life. Unfortunately for Victor, his "son" is not exactly the gracious being he desired.
Victor, after the creature comes to life for a brief moment, rests. It seems as though Victor's stress and exhaustion has caught up with him. He falls asleep, consumed by nightmares. Suddenly, Victor awakens; the monster is over him, staring at him. Again horrified, Victor flees ("rushed") from the flat (apartment) and finds escape in the courtyard adjacent to his flat. Seeking security for the rest of the night, Victor remains in the courtyard. It is not until morning, after light breaks, that Victor leaves the courtyard to walk aimlessly.
The answer to this question is found in chapter five of the novel. Victor has just succeeded in reanimating life, but he realizes when he "saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open" that his creation is anything but an accomplishment. Victor flees from the creature. Rushing to his room, Victor attempts to "seek a few moments of forgetfulness," but, instead, he dreams of Elizabeth's death. Once Victor awakens, he "beheld the wretch--the miserable monster whom [he]had created." As the creature reaches out to Victor, Victor runs out of the room, down the stairs and into the courtyard where he spends the rest of the night in turmoil. In the morning, Victor meets his friend Clerval, momentarily forgetting his earlier horror. They return to Victor's apartment. Victor pushes his door open to reveal an empty apartment--no wretch. Victor welcomes Clerval into his home, and Victor's "flesh tingle[s] with excess of sensitiveness, and my pulse beat rapidly." Victor's bizarre behavior alerts Clerval, and Victor exclaims, "I thought I saw the dreaded spectre glide into the room; he can tell. Oh, save me! Save me!" Overcome with grief and turmoil, Victor becomes ill and collapses.
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