After a four-month recovery, he receives a letter from his father notifying him of the murder of his brother William. Upon arriving in Geneva, Victor sees the Creature near the crime scene and climbing a mountain, leading him to believe his creation is responsible. Justine Moritz, William's nanny, is convicted of the crime after William's locket, which had contained a miniature portrait of Caroline, is found in her pocket.
Victor is helpless to stop her from being hanged, as he knows no one would believe his story. Ravaged by grief and guilt, Victor retreats into the mountains. The Creature finds him and pleads for Victor to hear his tale. Intelligent and articulate, the Creature relates his first days of life, living alone in the wilderness and finding that people were afraid of and hated him due to his appearance, which led him to fear and hide from them. While living in an abandoned structure connected to a cottage, he grew fond of the poor family living there, and discreetly collected firewood for them.
Secretly living among the family for months, the Creature learned to speak by listening to them and he taught himself to read after discovering a lost satchel of books in the woods. When he saw his reflection in a pool, he realized his physical appearance was hideous, and it terrified him as it terrifies normal humans. Nevertheless, he approached the family in hopes of becoming their friend. Initially he was able to befriend the blind father figure of the family, but the rest of them were frightened and they all fled their home, resulting in the Creature leaving, disappointed.
He traveled to Victor's family estate using details from Victor's journal, murdered William, and framed Justine. The Creature demands that Victor create a female companion like himself.
He argues that as a living being, he has a right to happiness. The Creature promises that he and his mate will vanish into the South American wilderness, never to reappear, if Victor grants his request. Should Victor refuse his request, The Creature also threatens to kill Victor's remaining friends and loved ones and not stop until he completely ruins him. Fearing for his family, Victor reluctantly agrees. The Creature says he will watch over Victor's progress. Clerval accompanies him to England , but they separate at Victor's insistence at Perth , Scotland.
Victor suspects that the Creature is following him.
Working on the female creature on the Orkney Islands , he is plagued by premonitions of disaster, such as the female hating the Creature or becoming more evil than him, but more particularly the two creatures might lead to the breeding of a race that could plague mankind. He tears apart the unfinished female creature after he sees the Creature, who had indeed followed Victor, watching through a window.
The Creature later confronts and tries to threaten Victor into working again, but Victor is convinced that the Creature is evil and that its mate would be evil as well, and the pair would threaten all humanity. Victor destroys his work and the Creature vows that he will "be with [him] on [his] wedding night".
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Victor interprets this as a threat upon his life, believing that the Creature will kill him after he finally becomes happy. Victor sails out to sea to dispose of his instruments, falls asleep in the boat, is unable to return to shore because of changes in the winds, and ends up being blown to the Irish coast. When Victor lands in Ireland , he is soon imprisoned for Clerval's murder, as the Creature had strangled Clerval to death and left the corpse to be found where his creator had arrived, causing the latter to suffer another mental breakdown in prison.
After being acquitted, Victor returns home with his father, who has restored to Elizabeth some of her father's fortune. In Geneva, Victor is about to marry Elizabeth and prepares to fight the Creature to the death, arming himself with pistols and a dagger. The night following their wedding, Victor asks Elizabeth to stay in her room while he looks for "the fiend". While Victor searches the house and grounds, the Creature strangles Elizabeth to death.
From the window, Victor sees the Creature, who tauntingly points at Elizabeth's corpse; Victor tries to shoot him, but the Creature escapes.
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After Victor gets back to Geneva, Victor's father, weakened by age and by the death of his precious Elizabeth, dies a few days later. Seeking revenge, Victor pursues the Creature to the North Pole , but collapses from exhaustion and hypothermia before he can find his quarry. At the end of Victor's narrative, Captain Walton resumes the telling of the story, closing the frame around Victor's recounting. A few days after the Creature vanished, the ship becomes trapped in pack ice and multiple crewmen die in the cold, before the rest of Walton's crew insists on returning south once it is freed.
Upon hearing and angered by the crew's pleas to their captain, Victor lectures them with a powerful speech: it is hardship, not comfort and easiness, that defines a glorious undertaking such as theirs; he urges them to be men, not cowards. The ship is freed and Walton, owing it to the will of his men, albeit regretfully, decides to return South. Victor, even though in very weak condition, states that he will go on by himself. Victor dies shortly thereafter, telling Walton, with his last words, to seek "happiness in tranquillity and avoid ambition".
Walton discovers the Creature on his ship, mourning over Victor's body. The Creature tells Walton that Victor's death has not brought him peace; rather, his crimes have left him completely alone. The Creature vows to kill himself so that no others will ever know of his existence. Walton watches as the Creature drifts away on an ice raft that is soon "lost in darkness and distance", never to be seen again. Mary Shelley had a tragic life from the beginning. Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft , died from infection shortly after giving birth to her.
Shelley grew a close attachment to her father having never known her mother. Her father, William Godwin , hired a nurse briefly to care for her and her half sister before he ended up remarrying.
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- 85 Essay Titles on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by englishexcellency | Teaching Resources;
Shelley's stepmother did not like the close bond she had with her father, which caused friction and Godwin to then favor his other two daughters and sons. Her father was a famous author of the time and her education was of great importance, though not formal. Shelley grew up surrounded by her father's friends, writers and persons of political importance, that gathered often at the family home.
This inspired her authorship at an early age. Shelley met Percy Bysshe Shelley , who later became her husband, at the age of sixteen while he was visiting with her father.
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Godwin did not agree with the relationship of his daughter to an older, married but separated man, so they fled to France along with her stepsister, Claire Clairmont. Later, Shelley gave birth and lost their first child. Over eight years she would endure a similar pattern of pregnancy and loss, one hemorrhaging occurring until Percy placed her upon ice to cease the bleeding.
Mary and Percy's trip with Claire to visit her lover Lord Byron , in Geneva during the summer of , began the friendship amongst the two couples in which Byron suggested they have a competition of writing the best ghost story. Historians suggest an affair occurred too, even that paternity of one Shelley child may have been a Byron. Shelley was heavily influenced by both of her parents' works. Her father's novels also influenced her writing of Frankenstein. Leon, and Fleetwood. All of these books were set in Switzerland, similar to the setting in Frankenstein. Some major themes of social affections and the renewal of life that appear in Shelley's novel stem from these works she had in her possession.
Percy and Byron's discussion on life and death surrounded many scientific geniuses of the time. They discussed ideas from Erasmus Darwin and the experiments from Luigi Galvani. Mary joined these conversations and the ideas of Darwin and Galvani were both present in her novel. The horrors of not being able to write a story for the contest and her hard life also influenced the themes within Frankenstein. The themes of loss, guilt, and the consequences of defying nature present in the novel all developed from Mary Shelley's own life.
The loss of her mother, the relationship with her father, and the death of her first child created the monster and his separation from parental guidance. In a issue of The Journal of Religion and Health a psychologist proposed guilt stemmed from her not feeling good enough for Percy because of the loss of their child.
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During the rainy summer of , the " Year Without a Summer ", the world was locked in a long cold volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in The weather was consistently too cold and dreary that summer to enjoy the outdoor holiday activities they had planned, so the group retired indoors until dawn. Sitting around a log fire at Byron's villa, the company amused themselves by reading German ghost stories translated into French from the book Fantasmagoriana ,  then Byron proposed that they "each write a ghost story". I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative.
I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.
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