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Protagonist: The protagonist in the novel is Victor Frankenstein. He is the main character who contends with the conflict in the novel. His decision to create life provides a problem that he attempts to escape but eventually marks his death.
Antagonist: The antagonist in the novel is also the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein. Victor may have directed all of his hate and blame towards the monster he created, but is worst enemy lay within himself and his refusal to accept responsibility for his actions.
Conflict: The main conflict in the novel is based on the “monster” Victor Frankenstein created in his laboratory. He neglects his responsibility to the monster he created by ignoring its existence, and his cowardice leads to inner feelings of guilt and unhappiness that ultimately cause his life to unravel and the people he loves to perish. His refusal to be accountable for his action brings the misery and misfortune that constitute the foundation of the novel.
Chronology: Robert Walton writes in his first letter to his sister Margaret Saville about his desire to explore the world. His second letter then tells about his preparations for a crew and more about how he desires to explore the unexplored. In this letter he also explains how he wishes he had a friend to share his life with. In his third letter, he tells how the voyage is underway and going well. His fourth letter tells how the ship became trapped between floating blocks of ice and, after being freed, the ship encounters and takes aboard a man who was stranded on floating ice. Walton tells how the man is in wretched condition and is very melancholy. He tells how he gradually befriends the man and, after talking for some time, the man agrees to tell Walton the story of his life and how he came to be where he is now. His name is told to be Victor Frankenstein. Walton, during the narration, takes notes in the form of a letter for Margaraet.
Victor Frankenstein was born in Geneva, Switzerland, to a family of notoriety. His family adopted a young girl his age named Elizabeth from a poor family who could not support her. As a child, Victor was fascinated with alchemy and sciences. At age seventeen, Victor’s mother died. Soon after, he enrolled in the University of Ingolstadt. He took classes in natural sciences and began a routine of intense studying in the pursuit of preventing death and decay. He then unlocked the secret of creation, and after some years of meticulous work that almost resulted in his death, he was able to create a human being from dead materials. He abandoned the monster he had created in horror, and tried to leave the University, but on his departure he came across his friend Henry Clerval, and Clerval convinced him to stay. Clerval then nursed him back to health and the two men had good times with each other at the University, so much that Victor came to forget about the monster he had created. Victor was about to return home to Geneva when he received a letter from home describing how his younger brother William had been murdered and how house worker and family friend Justine Moritz was being accused for the murder. Victor believed without a doubt that the real murderer was his creation, and proclaimed to the town that he knew the real murderer, but without proof, no one could believe Victor, and innocent Justine was put to death. Victor slipped into a state of intense grief over the two deaths because he felt personally responsible for them. He decided to take a trip to the Alps to try to relieve his conscience and his soul. In the mountains he met the monster, and he reluctantly agreed to listen to the story the monster had to tell. The monster told how he had a difficult time adjusting to his new surroundings and how he was hated by all the people he first came in contact with. He then told how he came across a cottage with three people living inside, M. De Lacey, Felix De Lacey, and Agatha De Lacey. He told how he learned all about the human
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Frankenstein, English-language films, Frankenstein A New Musical, Frankenstein in popular culture
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