Summary of Chapter 1-5 (Frankenstein)

Chapter 1 Victor’s life and familyFather – AlphonseMother – Caroline Beaufort Frankenstein (daughter of one of Alphonse’s friends)Brothers – Ernest (middle child)William – youngest sonDistinguished familyVictor’s parents traveled extensively and on one of the travels to Italy, they adopted Elizabeth Lavenza (daughter of an Italian nobleman, living in poverty when the Frankensteins meet her)
Chapter 2 One year age difference between Victor and Elizabeth.Victor tells of his happy childhood, and how passionate he is about life and learning.Victor’s school friend – Henry Clerval is interested in heroes, action of mankind.Elizabeth – calm, saintly, soft voice, sympatheticVictor’s interest in “natural philosophy” makes him wish to read Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, and Alberto Magnus.Science is his focus and he feels that he must always strive to learn more.Searches for the “elixir of life.”Witnesses a thunderstorm while 15, and becomes interested in the laws of electricity.Victor changes his studies to math and science built on a secure foundation after reading Sir Isaac Newton.Chapter ends with foreshadowing:”Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.”
Chapter 3 Victor enters college at 17.University of Ingolstadt.Elizabeth gets scarlet fever.Caroline (V’s mom) nurses Elizabeth to health, but falls ill.On her deathbed, Caroline joins Victor’ and Elizabeth’s hands and wishes for them to marry someday.Victor meets his professors.M. Krempe (Monsieur): professor of natural philosophy. Uncouth, repulsive.M. Waldman: opposite of Krempe. Benevolent, dignified. Helps decide Victor’s future. Focus on chemistry.
Chapter 4 Victor makes rapid progress in his studies. He improves some chemical instrumentation at the university and receives accolades.Becomes interested in the structure of the human frame. Says to examine life, one must look at death, so he goes to graveyards to observe the normal decay of the human body.Victor visits charnel houses, vaults, and looks at the decaying effects of death on the human body.Realizes that he is becoming “..capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter.”Becomes concerned about how to enact reanimation.Decides to make the creature gigantic in size, so the parts will be easier to manipulate in the lab.Victor, himself, becomes an absolutely, exhausted wreck (time in school, lab, and prowling graveyards at night).
Chapter 5 On a dreary night in November, Victor is ready to infuse life into his creation.Description of the creature/wretch:Dull, yellow, watery eyes, deep eye socketsProportionate limbs, black shiny hairYellow skin, stretched tightly around his arteries, musclesWhite teeth, black lips, shriveled complexionTook two years to make the creature.Victor ruins his own health during the creative process.Victor becomes horrified and disgusted as he looks at the monster.After finally sleeping, Victor awakes and sees the creature stretching his hand out toward the creator. Victor escapes from his apartment to his courtyard below, and runs into Henry Clerval the next day who has a letter from Elizabeth for Victor

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