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Frankenstein Chapter 24 Summary

Instructor: Meredith Spies

Meredith has studied literature and literary analysis, holding a master's degree in liberal arts with a focus on depictions of femininity vs masculinity in literature and art.

This lesson reviews the major points of chapter 24 from Shelley's ''Frankenstein''. There is also a brief overview of what occurred immediately before chapter 24 and its importance in the ongoing action.

Chapter 23 Review: Death and a Promise

Victor Frankenstein and his wife, Elizabeth, are on their honeymoon. Victor remembers that the creature he created promised to be there on his wedding night. Not wanting to worry Elizabeth, Victor sends her to their room while he patrols the halls of the inn. Before long, he hears her scream and rushes to the room only to find her dead and the creature escaping through the open window. Victor tries to tell the magistrate about the creature, but he is brushed aside as being possibly mad and in the throes of grief. Victor decides that, since he has no one left, he will spend his life hunting down the creature to destroy him.

The Chase Begins

Victor begins his pursuit of the creature in earnest in chapter 24. The creature is intelligent and leaves Victor hints and clues as to his location and direction, but never allows Victor close enough to actually harm him. Victor eventually follows him on a ship headed for the Black Sea. He chases the creature through Russia and finally ends up in the Arctic Circle.

The creature steals a dog sled team as the weather grows rough and deadly. Victor tries to follow with one of his own, but is found on an ice floe by Walton, the sea captain who wrote the letters that prefaced chapter one. Victor's story is now in his 'present.' Victor asks Walton to take over the search for the creature if he dies.

The Creature
Frankensteins Creature

Trapped On Board

Captain Walton does not question Victor's story and wishes he had known Victor before the creature and before the madness, because he sees in Victor a potential friend. As Victor is languishing, Walton's men ask to turn around and go back to port because the weather is brutal and they are afraid they will be killed.

Victor rallies and abuses them for wanting to go back, demanding they press on because he needs to finish his quest. The men are moved by his demands and decide to go on. But two days later, they've had enough and again ask Walton to let them turn the ship around. Victor dies as the ship prepares to return to England.

The Creature Grieves

Captain Walton leaves Victor's body in the cabin--the cold will preserve it, he reasons, and he does not want to dump him overboard. Several days into their return journey, Walton hears noises coming from the room where Victor's body is stored and he finds the creature there, weeping over the corpse.

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