Frankenstein By Mary Shelley Summary and Analysis Chapter 24

Summary

Victor leaves Geneva forever, goaded on by the monster's laughter. A chase ensues as Victor tries to capture and kill the creature who has tormented him for several years. Victor chases the monster from Geneva south to the Mediterranean Sea. Both board a ship bound for the Black Sea, journey through Russia, and make their way north to the Arctic Circle.

The weather gets worse as the duo travels north. There is little or no food and fierce winter storms. The monster steals a dog sled team and is seen by local villagers to be armed and dangerous. Victor closes to within one mile of the monster when the ice on which both travel begins to crack and separate the two from each other.

It is at this time when Robert Walton finds Victor, with his dying dog team dogs floating on an ice flow in the Arctic Ocean. Victor encourages Robert to continue the fight to destroy the monster if he does not.

Analysis

Visiting the cemetery where William, Elizabeth, and Alphonse are buried, Victor wishes his dead family goodbye and vows to seek revenge for their deaths. He curses the monster and wants retaliation for all the sorrow that has come to him. The monster is nearby laughing at Victor, which spurs the creator to give chase to the monster in order to destroy him. The monster knows that Victor would be at the cemetery because of their psychic communication, a Gothic element.

The chase leads from Switzerland to Italy, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea, from the steppes of Russia to the frozen tundra of the northern reaches of land near the North Pole. Both Victor and the monster live off of the land, pausing only to replenish themselves when necessary. The monster leaves notes behind to inspire Victor on and to keep his wave of hatred going against his foe, "My reign is not yet over — you live, and my power is complete. Follow me; I seek the everlasting ices of the north, where you will feel the misery of cold and frost, to which I am impassive." The monster feels they "have yet to wrestle for our lives, but many hard and miserable hours must you endure until that period shall arrive." Victor cannot follow the monster without help of the notes from the monster and the villagers' sightings.

Victor even promises to help Robert from the afterlife to assure that the monster will die a sure death:"Hear him not; call on the memories of William, Justine, Clerval, Elizabeth, my father and, of the wretched Victor, and thrust your sword into his heart. I will hover near and direct the steel aright."

The desolate environment of the Arctic is a Gothic element.

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