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by Mary Shelley
The Monster Timeline and Summary
The monster is created by Victor Frankenstein. He tries to connect with people, but even his own creator runs away from him in fear because he is so ugly. Victor leaves him alone in his apartment after he wakes up to see the monster smiling at him. The monster goes into a house, but the people drive him away. He enters a village and a similar thing happens. He hides in the hovel outside the house of a group of peasants of whom he grows fond. He lives there through the winter and into the spring. He watches them, stealing food from them at first until he realizes they are poor. After that, he gathers food in the woods, as well as firewood for the family. He does other chores, too. He sees his reflection in water and realizes how ugly he is, and it makes him sad. He watches them, learning to speak and read from them. He finds books in the woods, including Paradise Lost, and reads them, along with journal entries found in the pockets of Victor’s clothing. He learns of Victor’s horror at seeing him and his monstrous nature. He despairs. One day, when the young people are gone, he tries to talk to the blind old peasant in hopes of forming some sort of social connection. The old man is kind to him, but then the younger people return and drive him away. With no more hope in the goodness of humanity, the monster goes off in search of Victor. On the way through the woods, he saves a little girl from drowning, but her male companion assumes the monster is attacking her and shoots him in the shoulder. He nurses his wound for weeks before making his way to Geneva. He sees a boy outside Geneva in the woods who mocks him for being ugly. The monster wasn’t intending to hurt him, but the boy reveals himself to be William Frankenstein, and the monster, filled with rage at his creator’s indifference, kills the boy. He plants a picture on Justine to frame her for the murder. He sees Victor in the mountains and invites him to a cave to talk by his fire. He tells Victor about the peasants and how alone he is, as well as confessing to murdering William out of anger. He asks Victor to create him an equally ugly female companion, promising to take her to South America away from the rest of the world. Finally, he persuades Victor to make the she-monster. He tells Victor that he will know when she is done because he will be monitoring his progress. He follows Victor for the two years he travels in England and Scotland while working on the companion. He is looking in the window at Victor the night he destroys the companion after having second thoughts. He vows to be with Victor on his wedding night and swears revenge. The monster kills Henry. The monster shows up and kills Elizabeth on the big wedding night. He leads Victor around in a final chase lasting for months, leaving clues and trails so that Victor can follow him but never catch him. He weeps over Victor’s dead body aboard Captain Walton’s ship, and tells Captain Walton about himself. The monster leaves to build a funeral pyre and die.