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Transcript of Plot Graph
Robert Walton meets Victor Frankenstein Coming to Life "I said in one of my letters, my dear Margaret, that I should find no friend on the wide ocean; yet I have found a man who, before his spirit had been broken by misery, I should have been happy to have possessed as the brother of my heart. I shall continue my journal concerning the stranger at all intervals, should I have any fresh incidents to record."
- Robert Walton to Margaret Saville (Shelley 23) Victor and Elizabeth:
The Beginning "When my father returned from Milan, he found playing with me in the hall of our villa a child fairer than pictured cherub--a creature who seemed to shed radiance from her looks and whose form and motions were lighter than the chamois of the hills. The apparition was soon explained. With his permission my mother prevailed on her rustic guardians to yield their charge to her. They were fond of the sweet orphan. Her presence had seemed a blessing to them, but it would be unfair to her to keep her in poverty and want when Providence afforded her such powerful protection. They consulted their village priest, and the result was that Elizabeth Lavenza became the inmate of my parents’ house--my more than sister--the beautiful and adored companion of all my occupations and my pleasures." (Shelley 5) "My departure was therefore fixed at an early date, but before the day resolved upon could arrive, the first misfortune of my life occurred--an omen, as it were, of my future misery... Elizabeth was saved, but the consequences of this imprudence were fatal to her preserver." (Shelley 35) The First Death "So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation." (Shelley 65) Victor Creates "How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips." (Shelley 81) This quote, found in a letter from Robert to his sister, introduces Robert Walton (who views the story much the same way readers do), and Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist. Walton finds Victor's obsessive quality to be similar to his own, and prepares himself to listen to Victor's horrific tale. This quote introduces Victor and Elizabeth as family; although they are, here, adopted brother and sister, he expresses that she will become "more than" that. This passage also brings to light the theme of orphanage, and that the threat of solidarity is always present... This quote introduces an important theme in the novel: death. Death threatens Victor and his family in almost every chapter, as the Monster attacks every person that his creator holds close; Victor even contemplates suicide at one point. This idealistic and visionary way Victor speaks will come back to haunt him as the Monster, his creation, begins to murder and attack Victor's family and friends. It is interesting to note the stark difference between this pioneering Victor and the depressed, frantic one readers will encounter later. It also presents the important theme of science. Victor's creation finally comes to fruition, and he is horrified at what he has brought to Earth. He is, at first, mystified by his ability to create such a being, but is then stricken with terror at his grotesque appearance. It is this first appearance of Victor's creation that leads to him being labeled as a "monster." The Monster Strikes "When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation. I would have made a pilgrimage to the highest peak of the Andes, could I when there have precipitated him to their base. I wished to see him again, that I might wreak the utmost extent of abhorrence on his head and avenge the deaths of William and Justine." (Shelley 110) At this point in the novel, Victor has declared his plans to avenge the deaths of his brother and servant by finding and exterminating his creation, the Monster, which becomes his obsession for the remainder of the novel. Death Strikes... Again "William is dead! - that sweet child, whose smiles delighted and warmed my heart, who was so gentle, yet so gay! He is murdered!" (Shelley 101) Elizabeth tells Victor, in a letter, that their brother, William, has been killed in the woods. Victor's previous sensations of joy and excitement at returning to Geneva to see his family were beaten down with this news, and his journey to his homeland becomes one of sorrow and increased apprehension at his creation's whereabouts. Who Killed William? "This speech calmed me. I was firmly convinced in my own mind that Justine, and indeed every human being, was guiltless of this murder." (Shelley 105) Victor realizes that Justine, his family's gentle servant, did not kills his brother, William... but begins to suspect that his creation did.