The Novella Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, begins with the four opening letters, which tell Victor Frankenstein’s narrative through R. Walton’s own narrative. Walton’s narrative discusses the desire of company, friendship, and lack of sympathy regarding Victor’s voyage and experimentation. After the letters, Victor becomes the sole narrator, as he explains his early life story. As a child his family moved around a lot from Naples to Milan to finally Geneva. Victor is very expressive of his dear sister Elizabeth, who to him, represents not only beauty and perfection, but comfort. After Victor’s Mom dies, Victor goes off to Ingolstadt, and brings his friend Henry to accompany him. Victor works very hard in his studies and with the help of his professors finds a passion for science and creation. Victor and Henry then embark on their adventure, where it takes Victor about two years to create his monster. After the creation, Victor is exhausted and his joy and passion that he once had for his creation is gone. His family back home wonders why he has not been in touch and why he has not traveled home. Victor is then notified that his little brother William has died. This breaks Victor’s heart, and Elizabeth especially, who accuses herself of being responsible for the death. Victor decides to travel home to Geneva to pay his respects and to comfort his sister and the rest of his family. Justine, a family friend, is convicted of murdering William. Townspeople and the family believe that she is the murder, but Elizabeth and Victor know she is not. In fact, Victor is distraught, as he knows for a fact that the monster, his own creation, is responsible for murdering William. However, Justine pleads guilty as she sees no brighter future, and is executed the next morning.
A passage that stood out to me in the reading was on page twelve where Walton states “ Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature.” This made me think of how beauty in Shelley’s world was defined opposed to how it is defined in modern day. In addition, Victor saw beauty in his creation of the monster, but was it truly a beauty of nature? One could argue that science pertains to nature. However, Victor’s forced creation of his monster shows otherwise.