Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein depicts the life of a "student of unhallowed arts" and his success at reanimating life. Shelley's Victor, created as the result of a nightmare, began his life "kneeling beside the thing he had put together" (taken from the 1831 Introduction to Frankenstein).
Mirroring Shelley's challenges with coming up with a ghost story, as part of the compact made between Lord Byron, John Polidori, Percy Bysshe Shelley (her husband) and herself, Victor's success at reanimating life did not come easily. Instead, it took almost two years for Victor and his trials to see success. Almost two years after his experimentation began, Victor, on a "dreary night of November," was able to behold "the accomplishments of his toils."
I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body.
Readers can see the impact the two years it took to create his "son" had on Victor. He openly admits that, over the prior years, he ignored both his own life and the lives of his friends and family. The two years it took to create his "son" were long and unsatisfying.