Frankenstein Test Review I Flashcard Example #62873

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Characters
Victor Frankenstein
-Studying in Ingolstadt, Victor discovers the secret of life and creates an intelligent but grotesque monster, from various body parts.

-Victor keeps his creation of the monster a secret, feeling increasingly guilty and ashamed as he realizes how helpless he is to prevent the monster from ruining his life and the lives of others.

The Monster
-The eight-foot-tall, hideously ugly creation of Victor Frankenstein.

-Intelligent and sensitive, the monster attempts to integrate himself into human social patterns.

-But all who see him shun him. His feeling of abandonment compels him to seek revenge against his creator.

Robert Walton
-The Arctic seafarer whose letters open and close Frankenstein.

-Walton picks the bedraggled Victor Frankenstein up off the ice, helps nurse him back to health, and hears Victor’s story.

-He records the incredible tale in a series of letters addressed to his sister, Margaret Saville, in England.

Alphonse Frankenstein
-Victor’s father, very sympathetic toward his son.

-Alphonse consoles Victor in moments of pain and encourages him to remember the importance of family.

Elizabeth Lavenza
-An orphan, four to five years younger than Victor, whom the Frankensteins adopt.

-Victor’s mother rescues Elizabeth from a destitute peasant cottage in Italy.

-Elizabeth embodies the novel’s motif of passive women, as she waits patiently for Victor’s attention.

Henry Clerval
-Victor’s boyhood friend, who nurses Victor back to health in Ingolstadt.

-After working unhappily for his father, Henry begins to follow in Victor’s footsteps as a scientist.

-His cheerfulness counters Victor’s moroseness.

William Frankenstein
-Victor’s youngest brother and the darling of the Frankenstein family.

-The monster strangles William in the woods outside Geneva in order to hurt Victor for abandoning him.

-William’s death deeply saddens Victor and burdens him with tremendous guilt about having created the monster.

Ernest Frankenstein
Victor’s younger brother by six years. He is the only Frankenstein to survive the novel.
Justine Moritz
-A young girl adopted into the Frankenstein household while Victor is growing up.

-Justine is blamed and executed for William’s murder, which is actually committed by the monster.

Caroline Frankenstein
-After her father’s death, Caroline is taken in by, and later marries, Alphonse Frankenstein.

-She dies of scarlet fever, which she contracts from Elizabeth, just before Victor leaves for Ingolstadt.

Peasants
– A family of peasants.

-Including a blind old man, De Lacey; his son and daughter, Felix and Agatha; and a foreign woman named Safie.

-The monster learns how to speak and interact by observing them.

-When he reveals himself to them, hoping for friendship, they beat him and chase him away.

M. Waldman
-The professor of chemistry who sparks Victor’s interest in science.

-He dismisses the alchemists’ conclusions as unfounded but sympathizes with Victor’s interest in a science that can explain the “big questions,” such as the origin of life.

M.Krempe
-A professor of natural philosophy at Ingolstadt.

-He dismisses Victor’s study of the alchemists as wasted time and encourages him to study something else.

Modern Natural Philosopher
Staying at the Frankenstein home, explains electricity to Victor.
Letter 1
-The novel itself begins with a series of letters from the explorer Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret Saville.

-Walton, a well-to-do Englishman with a passion for seafaring, is the captain of a ship headed on a dangerous voyage to the North Pole.

-In the first letter, he tells his sister of the preparations leading up to his departure and of the desire burning in him to accomplish “some great purpose”—discovering a northern passage to the Pacific, revealing the source of the Earth’s magnetism, or simply setting foot on undiscovered territory.

Letter 2-3
– In the second letter, Walton bemoans his lack of friends. He feels lonely and isolated, too sophisticated to find comfort in his shipmates and too uneducated to find a sensitive soul with whom to share his dreams.

-He shows himself a Romantic, with his “love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous,” which pushes him along the perilous, lonely pathway he has chosen.

-In the brief third letter, Walton tells his sister that his ship has set sail and that he has full confidence that he will achieve his aim.

Letter 4
-In the fourth letter, the ship stalls between huge sheets of ice, and Walton and his men spot a sledge guided by a gigantic creature about half a mile away.

-The next morning, they encounter another sledge stranded on an ice floe. All but one of the dogs drawing the sledge is dead, and the man on the sledge—not the man seen the night before—is emaciated, weak, and starving.

-Despite his condition, the man refuses to board the ship until Walton tells him that it is heading north. The stranger spends two days recovering, nursed by the crew, before he can speak.

-The crew is burning with curiosity, but Walton, aware of the man’s still-fragile state, prevents his men from burdening the stranger with questions.

-As time passes, Walton and the stranger become friends, and the stranger eventually consents to tell Walton his story. At the end of the fourth letter, Walton states that the visitor will commence his narrative the next day; Walton’s framing narrative ends and the stranger’s begins.

Chapter 1
The stranger, who the reader soon learns is Victor Frankenstein, begins his narration.

He starts with his family background, birth, and early childhood, telling Walton about his father, Alphonse, and his mother, Caroline.

Alphonse became Caroline’s protector when her father died in poverty. They married two years later, and Victor was born soon after.

Frankenstein then describes how his childhood companion, Elizabeth Lavenza, entered his family.

-At this point in the narrative, Elizabeth is discovered by Caroline, on a trip to Italy, when Victor is about five years old. While visiting a poor Italian family, Caroline notices a beautiful blonde girl among the dark-haired Italian children; upon discovering that Elizabeth is the orphaned daughter of a Milanese nobleman and a German woman and that the Italian family can barely afford to feed her, Caroline adopts Elizabeth and brings her back to Geneva.

-Victor’s mother decides at the moment of the adoption that Elizabeth and Victor should someday marry.

Chapter II
-Elizabeth and Victor grow up together as best friends. Victor’s friendship with Henry Clerval, a schoolmate and only child, flourishes as well, and he spends his childhood happily surrounded by this close domestic circle.

-As a teenager, Victor becomes increasingly fascinated by the mysteries of the natural world. He chances upon a book by Cornelius Agrippa, a sixteenth-century scholar of the occult sciences, and becomes interested in natural philosophy.

-He studies the outdated findings of the alchemists Agrippa, Paracelsus, and Albertus Magnus with enthusiasm.

-He witnesses the destructive power of nature when, during a raging storm, lightning destroys a tree near his house.

-A modern natural philosopher accompanying the Frankenstein family explains to Victor the workings of electricity, making the ideas of the alchemists seem outdated and worthless.

Chapter III
-At the age of seventeen, Victor leaves his family in Geneva to attend the university at Ingolstadt.

– Just before Victor departs, his mother catches scarlet fever from Elizabeth, whom she has been nursing back to health, and dies. On her deathbed, she begs Elizabeth and Victor to marry. Several weeks later, still grieving, Victor goes off to Ingolstadt.

-Arriving at the university, he finds quarters in the town and sets up a meeting with a professor of natural philosophy, M. Krempe.

-Krempe tells Victor that all the time that Victor has spent studying the alchemists has been wasted, further souring Victor on the study of natural philosophy.

-He then attends a lecture in chemistry by a professor named Waldman. This lecture, along with a subsequent meeting with the professor, convinces Victor to pursue his studies in the sciences.

Chapter IV
-Victor attacks his studies with enthusiasm and, ignoring his social life and his family far away in Geneva, makes rapid progress. Fascinated by the mystery of the creation of life, he begins to study how the human body is built (anatomy) and how it falls apart (death and decay).

-After several years of tireless work, he masters all that his professors have to teach him, and he goes one step further: discovering the secret of life.

Privately, hidden away in his apartment where no one can see him work, he decides to begin the construction of an animate creature, envisioning the creation of a new race of wonderful beings.

-Zealously devoting himself to this labor, he neglects everything else—family, friends, studies, and social life—and grows increasingly pale, lonely, and obsessed.

Chapter V
-One stormy night, after months of labor, Victor completes his creation. But when he brings it to life, its awful appearance horrifies him.

-He rushes to the next room and tries to sleep, but he is troubled by nightmares about Elizabeth and his mother’s corpse.

-He wakes to discover the monster looming over his bed with a grotesque smile and rushes out of the house. He spends the night pacing in his courtyard. The next morning, he goes walking in the town of Ingolstadt, frantically avoiding a return to his now-haunted apartment.

-As he walks by the town inn, Victor comes across his friend Henry Clerval, who has just arrived to begin studying at the university. Delighted to see Henry—a breath of fresh air and a reminder of his family after so many months of isolation and ill health—he brings him back to his apartment.

-Victor enters first and is relieved to find no sign of the monster. But, weakened by months of work and shock at the horrific being he has created, he immediately falls ill with a nervous fever that lasts several months.

-Henry nurses him back to health and, when Victor has recovered, gives him a letter from Elizabeth that had arrived during his illness.

Chapter VI
-Elizabeth’s letter expresses her concern about Victor’s illness and entreats him to write to his family in Geneva as soon as he can. She also tells him that Justine Moritz, a girl who used to live with the Frankenstein family, has returned to their house following her mother’s death.

After Victor has recovered, he introduces Henry, who is studying Oriental languages, to the professors at the university. The task is painful, however, since the sight of any chemical instrument worsens Victor’s symptoms; even speaking to his professors torments him.

-He decides to return to Geneva and awaits a letter from his father specifying the date of his departure. Meanwhile, he and Henry take a walking tour through the country, uplifting their spirits with the beauties of nature.

Chapter VII
-On their return to the university, Victor finds a letter from his father telling him that Victor’s youngest brother, William, has been murdered.

-Saddened, shocked, and apprehensive, Victor departs immediately for Geneva. By the time he arrives, night has fallen and the gates of Geneva have been shut, so he spends the evening walking in the woods around the outskirts of the town.

-As he walks near the spot where his brother’s body was found, he spies the monster lurking and becomes convinced that his creation is responsible for killing William. The next day, however, when he returns home, Victor learns that Justine has been accused of the murder.

-After the discovery of the body, a servant had found in Justine’s pocket a picture of Caroline Frankenstein last seen in William’s possession. Victor proclaims Justine’s innocence, but the evidence against her seems irrefutable, and Victor refuses to explain himself for fear that he will be labeled insane.

Chapter VIII
-Justine confesses to the crime, believing that she will thereby gain salvation, but tells Elizabeth and Victor that she is innocent—and miserable.

-They remain convinced of her innocence, but Justine is soon executed.

-Victor becomes consumed with guilt, knowing that the monster he created and the cloak of secrecy within which the creation took place have now caused the deaths of two members of his family.

Chapter IX
-After Justine’s execution, Victor becomes increasingly melancholy. He considers suicide but restrains himself by thinking of Elizabeth and his father.

-Alphonse, hoping to cheer up his son, takes his children on an excursion to the family home at Belrive.

-From there, Victor wanders alone toward the valley of Chamounix. The beautiful scenery cheers him somewhat, but his respite from grief is short-lived.

Chapter X
-One rainy day, Victor wakes to find his old feelings of despair resurfacing. He decides to travel to the summit of Montanvert, hoping that the view of a pure, eternal, beautiful natural scene will revive his spirits.

-When he reaches the glacier at the top, he is momentarily consoled by the sublime spectacle. As he crosses to the opposite side of the glacier, however, he spots a creature loping toward him at incredible speed.

-At closer range, he recognizes clearly the grotesque shape of the monster. He issues futile threats of attack to the monster, whose enormous strength and speed allow him to elude Victor easily.

-Victor curses him and tells him to go away, but the monster, speaking eloquently, persuades him to accompany him to a fire in a cave of ice. Inside the cave, the monster begins to narrate the events of his life.

Chapter XI
-Sitting by the fire in his hut, the monster tells Victor of the confusion that he experienced upon being created.

-He describes his flight from Victor’s apartment into the wilderness and his gradual acclimation to the world through his discovery of the sensations of light, dark, hunger, thirst, and cold.

-According to his story, one day he finds a fire and is pleased at the warmth it creates, but he becomes dismayed when he burns himself on the hot embers. He realizes that he can keep the fire alive by adding wood, and that the fire is good not only for heat and warmth but also for making food more palatable.

-In search of food, the monster finds a hut and enters it. His presence causes an old man inside to shriek and run away in fear. The monster proceeds to a village, where more people flee at the sight of him. As a result of these incidents, he resolves to stay away from humans.

-One night he takes refuge in a small hovel adjacent to a cottage. In the morning, he discovers that he can see into the cottage through a crack in the wall and observes that the occupants are a young man, a young woman, and an old man.

Chapter XII
-Observing his neighbors for an extended period of time, the monster notices that they often seem unhappy, though he is unsure why.

-He eventually realizes, however, that their despair results from their poverty, to which he has been contributing by surreptitiously stealing their food. Torn by his guilty conscience, he stops stealing their food and does what he can to reduce their hardship, gathering wood at night to leave at the door for their use.

-The monster becomes aware that his neighbors are able to communicate with each other using strange sounds. Vowing to learn their language, he tries to match the sounds they make with the actions they perform.

-He acquires a basic knowledge of the language, including the names of the young man and woman, Felix and Agatha. He admires their graceful forms and is shocked by his ugliness when he catches sight of his reflection in a pool of water.

-He spends the whole winter in the hovel, unobserved and well protected from the elements, and grows increasingly affectionate toward his unwitting hosts.

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