What is the resolution of the novel Frankenstein?

Expert Answers
litgeek2015 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel resolves, or ends, with these three events:

  • Victor Frankenstein dies on Robert Walton's ship
  • The Monster finds Victor dead and then jumps off the ship and into the cold arctic to go off and supposedly die
  • Walton decides to go home to England

1) Victor Frankenstein has worn himself, physically and emotionally, searching for the Monster. As a result, he is near death when he arrives on Walton's ship. He shares his story with Walton, but then dies before ever finding his creation again.

2) The Monster finds Victor, but he is already dead. Walton walks in on the Monster talking to Victor's corpse and lamenting their complicated relationship. The Monster is remorseful and sad, but also still a bit angry. Victor's death is bittersweet, because as much as the Monster wanted Victor dead, he has no one else in the world who knows him. He is now truly alone. 

"He sprung from the cabin window, as he said this, upon the ice-raft which lay close to the vessel. He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance."

3) After hearing Frankenstein's story, Walton sees too many parallels to his own life and ambitions and decides he better head home before he becomes too much like Victor. He turns the ship around and goes back to England.

poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein resolves with a desperate Victor finally choosing to leave Geneva behind, tortured by the memories that the place holds. After tracking the monster for months using the clues and messages that the monster has left him, Victor heads up north. There, he meets Captain Walton and recounts his strange tale to him, asking that Walton continue his pursuit of vengeance after Victor has died.

The story resumes through the perspective of Walton's letters to his sister. He describes how his crewmen begged him to return to England if they manage the break out of the ice that has trapped them, terrified of the monster's sledge. Before the ship is about to depart for England, Victor dies. Walton then discovers the monster weeping over Victor's body, and the monster himself tells his own tale of woe to Walton, expressing his regret of having been an instrument for evildoing and his willingness to die. The monster then leaves the ship, never to be seen again.