Study Guide

Frankenstein Chapter 5

By Mary Shelley

Chapter 5

  • It's obviously a dark and stormy night when Victor brings the stitched-up corpse pieces to life.
  • Victor is on the brink of the achievement of a lifetime. He has visions of a Nobel Prize in Potentially Evil and Highly Suspect Late-Night Doings. He has created a superior race of people. He is going to win fame and adoration and …
  • Oh wait. The monster is huge and not exactly aesthetically pleasing.
  • Victor is roughly thinking, "uh-oh."
  • But wait, you say. What's so bad about this monster? Does he club baby seals or throw soda cans in the trash instead of recycling them? Did he illegally share songs on BitTorrent?
  • Nope. Nope. Nope. He's just ugly. That's it.
  • The monster leans over Victor and smiles at him. Oh, the horror.
  • But Victor has just had a nightmare about Elizabeth and his mother's corpses (that's the anvil of foreshadowing that you just heard thump on the ground), so when he sees the ugly smile, he runs out of his house and spends the night in his courtyard.
  • The next morning, Victor goes for a walk. He can't seem to be able to stand being in the same room as someone who is ugly.
  • In town, in one of many remarkably convenient coincidences in this book, Victor runs into his dear old buddy Henry Clerval near the town inn. Henry has come to study at Ingolstadt. It's the thing to do.
  • Don't worry —Henry is attractive. So it's okay for Victor to be friends with him.
  • Victor immediately falls ill with a fever, and Henry nurses him back to health over a number of months.
  • Illnesses lasted a long time back then because they didn't have things like penicillin or hygiene.
  • When Victor recovers, Henry gives him some letters from Elizabeth.

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