A Plot Synopsis of Frankenstein
- Captain Robert Walton, on an Arctic expedition, writes to his sister about a mysterious stranger he has rescued from the ice.
- Victor Frankenstein tells Walton his story—a happy childhood, an unhealthy obsession with alchemy, and his engagement to his cousin Elizabeth.
- Victor enrolls at the University of Ingolstadt, where he discovers the secret of life and builds a creature from dead bodies .
- When the creature comes to life, Victor is horrified. He runs away and falls ill. During a slow recovery under the care of his friend, Henry Clerval, Victor hears from his father: his little brother William has been murdered.
- Victor returns to Geneva where a beloved servant is hanged for William’s murder. Victor suspects the creature, but has no proof until they meet on an Alpine glacier. There the creature describes his first experiences, explains how he learned to speak and read, and convinces Victor to build him a mate.
- In the remote Orkneys, Victor builds a female creature but destroys it in disgust. His creature appears and warns him: “I will be with you on your wedding night.” Soon after, the creature kills Henry Clerval.
- Back in Geneva, Victor and Elizabeth marry. The creature kills Elizabeth on their wedding night. At her grave, Victor swears vengeance. The creature is there and the chase begins, extending to the Arctic where Victor is rescued by Walton.
- Victor dies, and the creature appears on board. Repentant and self-loathing, he determines to immolate himself and departs, “lost in darkness and distance.”