What plot exposition does Shelley offer the reader in chapters one and two of Frankenstein?
In the opening chapters, Victor Frankenstein describes his family's accomplishments and generosity, their European travels, and how Elizabeth came to be a part of his family. Victor emphasizes his closeness with Elizabeth and observes that while her interests lay in literature and artistic aesthetics, his were more scientific. He acknowledges that his parents were extraordinarily kind and indulgent.
Victor characterizes himself as precocious in childhood and insatiably curious about science and metaphysics. He credits Elizabeth and his friend Henry Clerval with helping him hold onto his humanity...
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Mary Shelley provides plot exposition by expounding on Frankenstein's character as a brilliant scientist surrounded by love. The reason for this presented information is to parallel the eventual creation of "the monster" who was like any other living being, but neglected and therefore lacking the luxuries Frankenstein possessed: namely, love. Further plot exposition occurs as Shelley poses inspiration for Frankenstein's greatest creation and greatest mistake through the "dazzling light" that is lightning, and also as Shelley ends chapter two with a strong message of foreshadowing. She says "Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction" (43).