Summary and Analysis
Victor and Henry spend the winter in London, touring that city and making plans to visit the rest of England. The visit delights Henry, while Victor broods and only visits the philosophers who have the latest scientific information. The two go to Oxford, and a friend invites them to visit Scotland. Here, Victor suggests they part ways; he carries on with his plan, unknown to Henry, and fixes upon a poor, relatively uninhabited island in the Orkney Island chain. Here, Victor can finish his work in solitude and out of sight of anyone who may suspect his intentions. He gathers the latest information about the advances in his field but remains a depressed soul with the thought of what he must do again. To Victor, this whole odyssey is like torture, as he must gather the raw materials for a second creature. Henry is not aware of Victor's determined efforts and carries out his part of the tour with joy.
Victor wonders if his family is safe, not knowing the whereabouts of the monster for some time. He parts company with Henry, who wonders about Victor's state of mind, but expresses "return, that I may feel myself somewhat at home, which I cannot do in your absence."
At times, Victor works feverishly; at other times, he would not work at all for days. His mind and heart are in a state of confusion, choosing between two choices:"Finish the monster or destroy this creation?" His body is "restless and nervous." He looks forward to finishing his work with mixed feelings. He says, "I looked towards its completion with a tremulous and eager hope, which I dared not trust myself to question but which was intermixed with obscure forebodings of evil that made my heart sicken in my bosom."
The setting is significant to the book. Victor says "I thought of Switzerland; it was far different from this desolate and appalling landscape." He picks a desolate island in the Orkneys off the coast of Scotland. The reader doesn't learn how he find body parts on a practically uninhabited island.