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Frankenstein - summary

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Frankenstein coursework - Robert Nixon 10JCM Introduction Frankenstein was written in 1816 by female novelist, Mary Shelley. She was only 18 at the time she had the idea for it. Her, her boyfriend Percy Shelley (whom she later married) and some of her friends were on holiday at the shore of lake Geneva in Switzerland, and at the time it was pouring down outside, so one of them decided that they should have a competition to see who could create the scariest horror story. Each person tried desperately to think of one, so much that they tried eating things that would give them nightmares. Mary had the idea of a creature being brought to life, which then lead to the birth of Frankenstein. This book is often referred to as 'the modern Prometheus', named after a greek god who stole power from heaven to create life from lifeless materials. When this book was first published, it was done so under an anonymous name because in those days women were not supposed to do things like Write horror stories and therefore would have been outcast. Summary This story is based upon an English man called Robert Walton who is writing to his sister back in England. He is seeking to find the North Pole. In doing this, he finds a man called Victor Frankenstein floating on a piece of ice. Walton drags the man aboard and revives him. When Frankenstein is recovered he starts to tell his story. He begins to tell Walton about his father and how he came to life, and goes on to talk about his childhood. At this time everything seems fine as Frankenstein appears to have had a very happy time as a child with his family, but it is after this that things start to go wrong. Frankenstein tells of how he goes to university to study natural philosophy, otherwise known as chemistry. ...read more.


He gets to Geneva and tells his father the news. He does not take it well, and a few days later he dies of grief. This throws Frankenstein into depression. After a month he tries to shake this and goes to a judge to ask him to use his authority to help track the monster down. The judge is not convinced though, and Frankenstein storms out of the court. Frankenstein eventually finds himself at the graveyard where his family were buried. As he spoke to their graves, he heard an enormous laugh echo around the graveyard. He then heard the monster speak, and chased after him. This is what happens for many months ahead. Frankenstein chases the monster hundreds of miles, along the river Rhone, over the black sea and into Russia. If the monster thought he was getting too far away from Frankenstein, he would leave notes for him to know which direction to go in, to egg him on. Frankenstein comes near to death many times, but his will for vengeance keeps him going. The monster leaves him a note one day saying he is heading for the Arctic. Frankenstein goes on an everlasting search to find him, no matter where it takes him. When he gets there he hires a sled and dogs to aid him in his search. These speeds up his search a lot. On his way, he encounters a small cottage with people in, saying a huge monster had stolen their food and sledge and had taken off onto a frozen sea, which lead to no land. Frankenstein despairs, but continues. He had travelled 3 weeks with no sign of the monster, until one day after getting over a large ice mountain, he sees the tiniest speck on the horizon, which he made out to be a monster on his sled. This boosted Frankenstein's morale and after two more days he made out to be only a mile away from the monster. ...read more.


Upbringing and parenthood are also a major role in the story. Frankenstein says that he had a very happy life when he was a child, and although he doesn't say this it appears he was rather spoilt. The monster, however, was the extreme opposite of this. He came into the world with no understandings around him, and having to learn everything around him that's usually taught to the child by its parents, but in the monsters case he had none. This is the first reason why the monster feels angry towards Frankenstein. This shows what difference a good upbringing and a bad upbringing can lead to. A main part of the monster's life is acting upon revenge towards Frankenstein. The monster's first act of revenge was to kill Frankenstein's younger brother, William. Then all he wanted was for Frankenstein to make him a new monster for him to be with, then he would not bare grudges against him. Frankenstein. However, has other plans, and near the end decides to destroy the body of the second monster. So in a way, Frankenstein ultimately brings on the deaths of Clerval, Elizabeth and his father onto himself. He could have just built the second monster and let them get on with their lives, but decides not to do it, despite knowing what the monster is capable of doing. The monster killing people may make him appear 'evil', but he is only doing what he thinks is equal to the pain given to him by Frankenstein. The message of this is that if you know something bad is going to happen from the consequences of what you do then don't do it. Conclusion This story has many morals in it, from the not playing God to being a good parent, but overall displays its points well and gets the message through well. Although I found it to be a bit boring, it shows many good points about life and what to do and what not to do in it. ...read more.

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