What is the brief overview of the plot?I have just received my own copy of this book and I cannot really decipher the language of the story and I need a little help understanding it, can you help...

What is the brief overview of the plot?

I have just received my own copy of this book and I cannot really decipher the language of the story and I need a little help understanding it, can you help me better understand it?

Thank you,


Expert Answers
pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's important to remember that Frankenstein is a frame narrative.  The speaker changes throughout the novel. Robert, Victor, and the Monster all share the narrator responsibilities.

The novel begins with Robert Walton writing to his sister, Margaret.  In a series of 4 letters to her, he describes his current adventures to discover the magnetic North Pole.  He is willing to give up everything in the pursuit of his dream.  This introduces an important theme in the book.  While trapped in the art, his crew finds a man nearly frozen to death on the ice.  They bring him aboard, and once he warms up the stranger (who turns out to be Victor Frankenstein) tells his story (and our narrator changes).

Victor tells Robert about his happy childhood.  Until his parents adopted an orphan, Elizabeth, he was an only child, but he loved her and their friendship grew.  Years later he (and his friend Henry) go to Ingolstadt, a university.  While there his love of science consumes him.  He decides he wants to learn the secrets of life, and begins studying how to bring things to life. He beings collecting dead body parts.  Late on night he is able to bring the new man to life.  He instantly regrets it once the monster comes to life and passes out.  When he awakes, the monster is gone and his guilt lands him sick.  His friend Henry has arrived and is takes care of him.

Victor returns home to Geneva and learns that his younger brother, William, has been murdered.  His maid, Justine, has been blamed for the murder.  Both Elizabeth and Victor are shocked and cannot believe she would have done it.  Justine is executed, and Victor knows that it is fault and realizes somehow his creation has killed his brother.  Filled with grief, Victor heads to the mountians to think and get away.  While walking on a glacier he sees his monster who admits to killing William.

The monster becomes the narrator and tells his side of the story.  He explains how he learned to read and speak by watching the DeLacy family.  He also explains how lonely he is and begs Victor to create a mate for him.  At first, Victor refuses fearing what would happen if there were 2 monsters (would them becoming a killing duo?  Could they have monster babies?).  However, Victor is convinced and returns to Geneva to build the female monster.

After starting to build the new creation Victor has second thoughts and destroys the female creation.  His monster is outraged and feels that Victor has killed his partner.  To pay him back, he kills Henry and threatens that if Victor does not create another female for him, he will visit Victor on his wedding night (at this point he's engaged to Elizabeth).

On their wedding night, Victor is out searching for the monster, but doesn't realize the monster has gone into their room and killed his bride.  At this point, Victor gives up everything and tracks the monster to the north pole to get his revenge.

The story ends with Walton again writing.  Victor has again fallen ill and dies.  He tells his sister that he finds the monster crying over his dead body.  The monster tells how lonely and sad he is, and so he leaves the ship to die on his own.

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