The myth of the Frankenstein monster returns to its literary roots in this tale of a scientist’s monstrous attempt to play God. This story is the archetype for many subsequent tales of the mad scientist and his creatures with the monster of misguided science eventually tormenting its creator.
The novel features Victor Frankenstein, a student who creates an artificial man while exploring the secrets of life in his laboratory. Victor Frankenstein recoils from his creation, fearing that he has spawned a monster.The monster kills Victor Frankenstein’s young brother and causes the murder to be blamed on an innocent girl.
Victor and the monster meet in the frozen mountains. The monster is lonely and wants a bride. He asks Victor to create a female monster, promising to afterwards leave with her for the vast wilds of South America.
Victor begins the work and discovers the monster has followed him to watch the work. Victor regrets his decision to create a second monster and worries that together they will spawn a species of new fiends. Victor destroys the monster’s bride, after which the monster and his creator become irrevocably caught up in mutual destruction.
The monster soon takes revenge on Victor by killing his best friend and father and fulfilling a promise to be with Victor on his wedding night. But it is not to kill Victor; instead he kills Victor’s bride, Elizabeth. Too late to save her, Victor bursts into the bloody room. He looks through the open window.
Victor pursues the monster across Europe, Russia and the Arctic. On the point of death, Victor meets a ship locked in the ice and tells his story to the captain whose letters and diaries are the format of this novel. After Victor dies, the monster appears. The captain describes their meeting.
The novel is told through layers of narration in an epistolary form not uncommon to her day. Few parts of this story may be construed as frightening in the classic sense.
At the centre of the novel is the Monster’s own autobiography, as this highly articulate being reveals the loneliness and persecution he suffered as a consequence of a lonely and abnormal creature .Victor Frankenstein, father to that loathsome creature, must finally open his soul to a kindred spirit in hopes of unburdening his fallen conscience. Thus we begin at the end of his journey through the frame narrator Robert Walton, aboard a ship attempting to reach the North Pole.
In the novel, Victor Frankenstein’s last words are, “Farewell, Walton! Seek happiness in tranquillity, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. Yet why do I say this? I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yet another may succeed.” Frankenstein’s conflicted ambition is with us always. And the Monster stands at our window, reminding us to take care of our creations.