How do the roles of Frankenstein and the monster reverse in the final chapters of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After the creature murders Elizabeth on her wedding night, he feels that his task is done. He has destroyed everyone that Victor loves, and this is more satisfying as a means of revenge than killing Victor himself. He escapes, his task seemingly complete. Victor, now alone in the world, has nothing else holding him back but to track down his creature and destroy him. The roles have reversed in that it is now Victor chasing the creature, rather than the creature chasing Victor. All over Europe, the two of them roam, the creature constantly ahead of his pursuer. Having reached the Arctic, Victor is found by Robert Walton, and he takes a brief respite on Walton’s ship before planning to continue his pursuit. After he tells Walton his story, his health weakens. His chase has destroyed him. When Victor dies, the creature comes on the ship and grieves for his creator. Death is not something he envisioned for Victor. Now that Victor is dead, the creature goes off, planning to destroy himself on a funeral pyre.

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