The story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley begins in the form of letter from Robert Walton. Walton describes in these letters meeting a traveler out to sea who claims to in pursuit of a monster. The novel of Frankenstein is set as Walton’s telling of Victor Frankenstein’s life. Victor Frankenstein, the main character of the story, grew up in a wealthy house in Geneva in Switzerland. His wealthy father and mother had another son, William, and the family adopted Victor’s cousin, Elizabeth, who is to marry Victor when they are both ready to do so. As a young man, young Frankenstein became enamored by science, specifically the old sciences such as alchemy and the work of Cornelius Agrippa. Through Victor’s studies of these old sciences and its mastery in Ingolstadt, Victor attempts to study the creation of life. He begins and experiment to give life to a previously lifeless body. His experiment is successful, resulting in the awakening of Victor’s creation. Unfortunately, the creation’s appearance is hideous to the young scientist and he runs away in fear of his own work. He later returns to see that his creation is gone. After some time in Ingolstadt, Victor learns of the death of his brother and the accusation of Justine Moritz, a girl taken under the Frankenstein family’s care, as the murderer. He returns to Geneva and goes hikes in the mountains to calm himself. There he meets his creation and hears his story.
His creation, upon leaving Ingolstadt, wanders the forest and collects food and learns the power of fire. In his wanderings, the creation learns of the hatred people have for him just by his wretched appearance through violence. After some time, he comes upon an ideal family and begins to learn from them moral values and language. After some time of observing them, he chooses to introduce himself to the family, but they too are disgusted by the creation. The creation then says that Victor must create a companion for the creation or Victor will find the creation on his wedding night.
Victor chooses to go on a tour of Europe and begins creating this companion in Scotland. In Scotland, Victor chooses to destroy this companion, fearing the results of her creation. Because of this, Frankenstein’s creation kills Victor’s friend, Clerval. Victor is framed for the murder but is eventually let free. He returns to Geneva and marries Elizabeth. On their wedding night, the creation enacts his revenge by killing the new bride. Victor begins to dedicate the rest of his life to enacting revenge on his creation and hunts his creation. This hunt leads the two north, where Victor, on the brink of death, finds Walton. Walton then decides to assist Victor in his quest. After the crew of the ship argue otherwise, Walton decides to return to England. After Walton makes this decision, Victor dies. A short time later, Walton comes upon the creation weeping over the body of Victor, claiming he no longer has a reason to live. The monster then tells Walton his struggles and sufferings. He then walks off into the cold north alone.