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Frankenstein Chapter 14 Summary

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

In this chapter, the monster learns the story of how the cottagers lost their money and how Safie came to fall in love with the unlucky Felix. Keep reading for a summary of chapter 14 of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Review

Frankenstein's monster has been hiding in a hovel attached to a cottage throughout the winter, observing the humans within the cottage. Through the family in the cottage, the monster has learned about love and compassion. With the arrival of spring, there was another arrival at the cottage, a beautiful foreigner named Safie. The monster learns language by observing Safie's lessons.

The De Lacey Family

Through his observations, and later through letters between the lovers, the monster learns the story of the family he has been with. The story is both beautiful and tragic, and it moves the monster to pity and love.

The monster learns that the last name of the family he has been watching is De Lacey. They were a rich family in Paris, France, and until very recently they have lived a life of comfort and privilege. The monster learns that the reason for their exile in Germany and their current vile poverty is Safie's father, a rich but scheming merchant from Turkey.

The Turkish Merchant and his Daughter

Safie is the offspring of this rich Turkish merchant and his Christian wife. Safie's mother was kidnapped by Muslims and sold as a slave. Though Safie is born into a repressive culture, Safie's mother taught her early on that the Muslims did not value women, and urged Safie to marry a Christian man and live outside the Arab world. Safie's mother dies, but her words live on in Safie's heart. When Safie's father moves to Paris to further his business aims and sends for her, she believes that she has found a sanctuary.

Unfortunately, it doesn't last. While she is still travelling toward Paris, Safie's father is thrown in jail. The monster is unable to determine what the crime he was accused of is, but the merchant is obviously innocent. At the trial, all the Parisians agree that the man's religion was on trial and not his actions. The very same day Safie arrives in France, her father is condemned to death.

Felix De Lacey is present for the trial, and he vows to help the merchant escape from prison. Felix goes to visit Safie's father and tell him of the plan. The merchant offers Felix money, which Felix refuses. But in a moment, everything changes. Safie arrives at the prison to visit her father, and Felix sees her. It is love at first sight.

Safie's father sees Felix's interest in his daughter and promises Felix her hand in marriage once he is free of the prison and back in his own country. Felix agrees.

The Discovery

Safie sends letters to Felix as he prepares to help her father escape from prison. The monster tells Victor that he has these letters and will be happy to offer them as proof of his tale. Felix breaks Safie's father out of jail and out of France. Safie accompanies them to Leghorn in the Italian Alps. Safie's father again promises her hand to Felix, but he's lying.

Distraught at the idea of his daughter marrying a Christian, the merchant plans for Safie to return to Constantinople. But news comes from Paris that Felix's plot has been discovered and his elderly father and sister Agatha have been thrown in prison. Felix tells Safie's father that he has to go turn himself in, and Safie should stay in Italy if the merchant has a chance to go back to Turkey. Safie's father agrees, but has no intention of honoring his promise.

Felix rushes back to Paris, where he is locked up alongside his father and sister. For five long months, Felix remains incarcerated awaiting trial. And the trial itself is a farce. The De Laceys are found guilty, and as punishment are forced to give up their fortune and leave Paris forever. They go to the cottage in Germany, where the monster finds them a few months later.

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