Frankenstein

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Frankenstein Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
One night in his lab, Victor worries that the new creature he's creating might refuse to live away from humans, or that the two monsters might produce a "race of devils." Just then he looks up and sees the monster "grinning" at the window. Overwhelmed by loathing, Victor destroys his work. Outside, the monster howls in agony, and disappears.
The monster might have been grinning in joy at the sight of its companion. But Victor's superficial prejudice is too powerful. He once again betrays the monster's trust and sentences it to permanent isolation.
Themes
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Ambition and Fallibility Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Hours later, the monster returns to Victor's lab. It now refers to Victor only as "Man" and vows revenge. It promises: "I shall be with you on your wedding night." Victor thinks the monster means to kill him on that night, and fears for Elizabeth left alone as a widow.
The monster now sees Victor only as its enemy, as "Man," and vows revenge. Victor's fear for his own life shows he doesn't understand the monster's true misery: isolation.
Themes
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
A letter soon arrives from Clerval suggesting they resume their travels. Victor gathers up his laboratory materials and rows out into the ocean to dump them. Victor is so happy he takes a nap in his boat. But he wakes into rough weather and can't get back to shore. Just as he begins to panic, the winds ease.
Victor panics in the boat because he fears being cut off from land, from human society. It is the same fear as the monster's, but Victor's prejudice doesn't let him recognize it.
Themes
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
When Victor lands a group of angry townspeople gathers around his boat. He's a suspect in a murder that occurred the previous night, and sent to meet with Mr. Kirwin, a local magistrate.
A cliffhanger ending; it seems likely the monster has already taken some revenge, but how?
Themes
Revenge Theme Icon
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