When and where does Frankenstein take place?

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caitlinm3's profile pic

caitlinm3 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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The novel Frankenstein begins with the preface that describes Victor as following the monster on an iceberg somewhere close to the North Pole. However, the majority of the story takes place in Europe. Victor Frankenstein is born in Italy in 1770, moved Switzerland in 1777, and then travels to Germany in 1788 where he studies. It's also in Germany where Victor creates the monster in 1792. Once the monster is created, Victor travels back to Switzerland in 1794, where he is followed by the monster. The monster also follows Victor to London in 1795 and Scotland. The author, Mary Shelley, also writes about Holland, Paris, Russia, and a small town on the Mediterranean Sea.

So many different settings helped Shelley promote the themes of escape and pursuit in her novel.

ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The novel Frankenstein is a frame story with three narrators and many settings. The novel begins in the St Petersburg, Russia when the first narrator, Robert Walton, is beginning his trip to the North Pole. It then movea to the North Pole and Victor Frankenstein appears.One could consider the North Pole as the single setting but that would be misleading. As Victor begins to narrate the story, he begins in Geneva, Switzerland,his family home and then moves to Ingolstadt,Germany, where Victor goes to study and make his monster. When the monster begins narrating the story, the setting moves back to the mountains around Ingolstadt, then to Switzerland. France, England, Scotland and then across the Alps to Russia and back to the North Pole. The novel takes place in the late 1700's.

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