In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, what does Victor decide to do to improve his spirits?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor becomes seriously ill after his creation of the monster. Henry Clerval, his old friend, arrives in Ingolstadt at this point in the story and takes Victor's care upon himself.

Once Victor begins to recuperate, he receives a letter from Elizabeth, his adopted sister and sweetheart. Hearing news of home is like an elixir, and he starts to become healthier even more quickly.

The sight of his "apparatus" in his laboratory haunts Victor, so Clerval has it removed. The close proximity to the location of his experiments and work "fever" Victor's brain, so Clerval moves Victor to a new apartment. When he is feeling better, Victor takes Clerval to the university to introduce him to the teaching staff, but this is also difficult for him, reminding him of what he has done. He longs to return home, but his journey is delayed because of weather, etc.

To improve his spirits after the demoralizing effects of creating the hideous creature—and realizing what a terrible mistake he has made—Victor agrees to take a walking tour of the countryside with Clerval.

...Henry proposed a pedestrian tour of the environs of Ingolstadt, that I might bid a personal farewell to the country I had so long inhabited. I acceded with pleasure to this proposition: I was fond of exercise, and Clerval had always been my favourite companion in the rambles of this nature that I had taken among the scenes of my native country...We passed a fortnight in these perambulations: my health and spirits had long been restored, and they gained additional strength from the salubrious air I breathed, the natural incidents of our progress, and the conversation of my friend.

This time with Clerval brings back a joy that Victor had lost: joy in life, with the ability to laugh. It is, however, a brief respite from further horror that awaits him at the hands of the monster he has created.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial