Student Question

What are the endings for Frankenstein and the creature, and what are their similarities and differences?

Quick answer:

Victor Frankenstein dies aboard Captain Walton’s ship. Upon Frankenstein's death, the creature declares that he will kill himself soon and jumps off the ship. Both characters are similar in that they exhibit dangerous, self-serving behavior, and they both die by the story’s end. But they differ in their motivations for their behavior, as Frankenstein wants to flee from his problems, while the creature wants revenge for having been created.

Expert Answers

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At the end of Frankenstein, Victor and the monster both come to death. Victor dies on Captain Walton's ship while running from the monster. Right before he dies, however, he has just agreed to go back to England after all that time, indicating that he has finally given up and perhaps will face his creation. But then he dies before that can happen. Then, Walton comes into the room where Victor's body is, and the monster is there, crying over him. Finally, after narrating a good deal of his own story to Walton, the creature says in the second to last paragraph of the book, 

"I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. My spirit will sleep in peace, or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell." 

And then he jumps from the window and floats away on an iceberg, never to be seen again. 

Although Victor and the monster both die in the end of the book, Victor's tragedy was brought on by his own reckless and selfish actions in creating the monster, whereas the monster's was not. Additionally, although Victor does ultimately die far from the ones he loves—though most are dead by that point—he dies in the company of Walton, who understands him and cares for him as a friend. The monster, through no fault of his own, is entirely isolated. The only person he had in the world who could have cared for him was his creator and Victor's response to him was to view him as an "abortion" (the monster's own words). So, although their ultimate ends are similar, the reasons for their ends and the nature of their isolation are different. 

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