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Free Study Guide-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley-Free Chapter Summary Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTERS 18 -19

Summary

These chapters concentrate on Victor' leaving Geneva. He initially goes to England, where he can access further information that he needs for the new creation. Next, he looks for a desolate place where he can work in peace on this project.

Although Victor is afraid of the monster, his conscience does not allow him to continue working on his new assignment. Therefore, he keeps delaying the work. Victor's father suggests that he should marry Elizabeth. But he puts it off until the year after he returns from his tour abroad. He is also supposed to meet his friend, Henry, in Strasbourg.

He leaves for his tour with his instruments towards the end of September and arrives at Strasbourg. He waits for Clerval to arrive here. They travel along the Rhine from Strasbourg to Rotterdam and then go to London. They also visit Cologne and Holland, and they reach Britain in December. In London they receive a letter from an acquaintance, inviting them to visit Scotland. By March they leave for Scotland, visiting Oxford, Matlock, Cumberland and Windsor, and completing their tour by the end of July.


Victor expresses his desire to visit Scotland alone. He wants to look for a remote place where he can start on his work. He comes to the northern highlands and settles on "one of the remotest of the Orkneys as the scene of (his) labors." There are three huts on the island, one of which is very isolated. He rents it for his laboratory. The hut is in a miserable condition, and he has it repaired and buys some furniture for it. His choice of such a place raises a few eyebrows, but it does not matter to Victor, who has started working on the creature. In no time he has nearly finished it.

Notes

The author gives a great deal of importance to geographic details in this chapter. She describes Victor's journey from place to place, in keeping with the literary style of the time, and emphasizing the Romantic fondness for places like Scotland.

Victor wants to get away from it all, and it is assumed that he would like Henry as company. Henry's mood on the tour is rather cheerful, which helps to lighten the atmosphere somewhat. Nevertheless, Victor cannot get over his own apprehension. But he tries not to show his anxiety and spoil Henry's enjoyment. Henry, however, does sense that something is wrong. Victor has always drawn strength and solace from nature, but on this tour, even nature does not help his suffering. The nagging fear of the monster and the thought that he has to create another one prevent him from enjoying himself.

Victor, meanwhile sees in Henry an image of his former self. Henry, eager to acquire knowledge, desires to see India and to explore it. Victor seems to be saturated with knowledge, in contrast to his former self. It is interesting to note that listening to the monster only once has brought such a major change in him. Peace of mind continues to evade him.

It is strange that he still feels an "eager hope" when his work is at an advanced stage, but this sentiment is not without foreboding.

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