Frankenstein

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Frankenstein Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A storm rolls in after they arrive at the cottage. Victor, armed with a pistol and terrified that the monster will attack at any moment, sends Elizabeth to bed for her own safety. But as he searches the house, he hears a scream. Elizabeth has been murdered. While huddled over her lifeless body, Victor sees the monster at the window. He fires at it, but misses.
Victor assumed the monster would attack him, not realizing that the monster wanted revenge by subjecting him to the same horror to which he subjected it: isolation. This mistake results in Elizabeth's death.
Themes
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Ambition and Fallibility Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Victor rushes back to Geneva. The news of Elizabeth's death overwhelms his father Alphonse, who dies a few days later.
Now the monster's revenge is complete: Victor is alone (besides Ernest).
Themes
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Victor goes mad for several months and is kept in a cell. When he regains his senses he tells his entire story to a local magistrate, hoping to enact justice on the monster. The magistrate listens but doesn't entirely believe Victor and, anyway, considers tracking down the monster impossible. Victor resolves to seek his revenge on his own.
Finally, Victor tells his secret. But it's too late. Now he faces the same predicament as the monster: rejected by humankind, he must seek revenge on his own.
Themes
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Victor curses the magistrate and all of humanity. "Man," he cries, "how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!"
Victor's curse is similar to the monster's curse of him. They are now essentially the same.
Themes
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Ambition and Fallibility Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Lost Innocence Theme Icon
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