Frankenstein Timeline: A Chronological Overview of Mary Shelley’s Classic Novel

Frankenstein Timeline: A Chronological Overview of Mary Shelley's Classic Novel

In Mary Shelley’s timeless novel, Frankenstein, the captivating tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation unfolds over a series of events that span a significant period of time. This article aims to provide a chronological overview, or timeline, of the major events that occur throughout the story, allowing readers to fully grasp the intricate history and progression of Shelley’s remarkable work.

The story begins as Victor Frankenstein, a young and ambitious medical student, becomes consumed by a desire to unlock the secrets of life. Driven by his studies and a sense of curiosity, he spends months in seclusion, experimenting and theorizing. It is during this time that he conceives the idea to create a living being, a creature that would someday become known as the monster.



With a plan in mind, Victor sets out on his quest, collecting body parts and working diligently to piece together his creation. One fateful night, in the early hours of the morning, he brings his creature to life, only to be filled with a surge of fear and regret when he lays eyes upon his ghastly creation. The monster, rejected by his creator and tormented by his own existence, begins his journey of revenge against Victor Frankenstein.

As the monster seeks companionship and understanding, he encounters a family of cottagers, the De Lacey family. While observing them from a distance, he begins to learn about human emotions and relationships. He longs to be a part of their lives and to be seen as more than just a terrifying monster. However, his hopes are shattered when the cottagers react with fear and disgust upon seeing him.

Meanwhile, Victor’s life takes a tragic turn as he experiences the deaths of his younger brother William and his beloved adopted sister Elizabeth. Both deaths are believed to be the work of the monster, further fueling Victor’s fear and desire for revenge. Determined to bring an end to the suffering caused by his creation, Victor vows to track down the monster and destroy him.

After a series of encounters and a pursuit that spans across continents, Victor finds himself in the remote and icy wilderness, where he faces his final confrontation with the monster. In their intense encounter, the monster reveals his deep pain and loneliness, blaming Victor for his misery and seeking his own revenge for the life he has been forced to lead.



Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has become a rare gem in literary history, exploring themes of science, philosophy, and the consequences of playing God. Through its rich characters and intricate plot, this thought-provoking novel continues to captivate readers and question the moral boundaries of human ambition.

Victor Destroys The Female Monster

However, as Victor dives deeper into his morbid task, he begins to fear the consequences of his plan. The prospect of bringing more monsters into the world fills him with an overwhelming sense of dread. He understands that creating another being with the same capabilities as his first creation could result in unimaginable suffering and death.

Driven by this fear, Victor decides to destroy the female monster before she is brought to life. He believes that this decision is for the greater good, as he cannot bear the thought of more innocent lives being threatened by his creations. He also realizes that the female monster could become a weapon of revenge in the hands of his first creation, who has already demonstrated a thirst for vengeance in the murder of Victor’s younger brother, William.



But Victor’s actions have consequences beyond his own troubled conscience. The unfinished female monster represents the death of Victor’s last glimmer of hope. It signifies his realization that his pursuit of knowledge and his attempts to play God have brought nothing but tragedy and despair upon his family and himself.

The Historical Context

It is worth noting that Mary Shelley wrote “Frankenstein” in the early 19th century, a time when the study of philosophy, science, and humanities was flourishing. Influenced by her own progressive upbringing and the radical ideas of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley explores deep ethical and moral questions through the lens of Victor Frankenstein’s experiments.

The Weird and Dark Reveries

As Victor grapples with his decision to destroy the female monster, he retreats to the farm of his dear friend Henry Clerval. There, he spends days and nights consumed by the weird and dark reveries that plagued his mind. His health deteriorates, and he becomes a shadow of his former self.

Within these frames of time, Victor reflects on the philosophical theories he once held dear. He comes to the realization that his studies and his pursuit of scientific greatness have only brought him misery. His readings of notable works like Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werter” and Rousseau’s “Reveries of a Solitary Walker” served as a foundation for his original ideas, but now they only remind him of the innocence and happiness he has permanently lost.

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In the end, Victor destroys the unfinished female monster in a fit of despair and self-realization. However, as we will see in the following sections of the Frankenstein timeline, the repercussions of his actions will continue to haunt him and his loved ones.

Frames on Chronology

In Henry’s Farm: Victor’s Studies on PhilosophyIn Henry’s Farm, Victor immerses himself in his studies of philosophy. Here, he begins to question his understanding of life and death, which will later play a significant role in his creation of the monster.
Victor’s Creation of the MonsterIn the later years of Victor’s life, he becomes fully consumed by his desire to create life. He creates the monster in the early hours of a Thursday morning, after months of meticulous preparations.
The Deaths of William and JustineTragedy strikes the Frankensteins when William, Victor’s younger brother, is murdered. Justine, a family friend, is wrongfully accused and executed for the crime.
Victor’s Fear and Demands of the MonsterVictor becomes overwhelmed with fear and despair as he realizes the consequences of his actions. He demands that the monster leave him and his loved ones alone, fueling the monster’s desire for revenge.
When Victor Rejects the Monster, It Seeks RevengeUnable to find acceptance from Victor or society, the monster embarks on a path of revenge. It murders Victor’s closest friends and family members, including Elizabeth, as a way to inflict the deepest pain on Victor.
Mary Shelley’s Life and Writing of FrankensteinMary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818, at the young age of 20. The novel was influenced by her own experiences and captures the themes of creation, ambition, and the consequences of playing god.
Victor’s Full Descent into MadnessAs the novel progresses, Victor’s mental and physical health deteriorate. He becomes obsessed with his pursuit of the monster and revenge, descending further into madness.
Understanding the Monster’s PerspectiveThe latter part of the novel focuses on the monster’s perspective. Through its narrations, readers gain insight into its motivations, desires, and the loneliness it experiences.
Victor’s Struggle with ResponsibilityThroughout the novel, Victor grapples with the consequences of his actions and his responsibility for the monster. He must confront the fact that he played a significant role in creating the monster and the devastation it has caused.
The Demise of Victor and the MonsterThe final acts of the novel see the deaths of both Victor and the monster. Their intertwined fates are ultimately sealed, bringing an end to the tragic tale.

This chronology highlights the key moments in the lives of the characters in Frankenstein. It showcases the twisted path of their lives, filled with love, ambition, tragedy, and revenge.

Medical History and the Creation of Frankenstein’s Monster

Mary Shelley’s interest in the scientific and philosophical theories of her time can be traced back to her upbringing. Her parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, were prominent figures in the intellectual circles of the late 18th century. They were advocates for social and political reform, and their ideas influenced Mary’s own thinking.

Before the timeline of events in the novel, Victor is portrayed as a highly educated and ambitious young man. He becomes obsessed with the idea of creating life from death and goes against the warnings of his father and the moral implications of such an experiment.

In Mary Shelley’s original book, the creation of the monster is described in a series of vivid and eerie narratives. Victor’s ambitions get the better of him, and he brings the creature to life, only to be horrified by its appearance and the consequences of his actions.

Victor spends several months in a state of fear and guilt, haunted by the monster he has created. The death of his younger brother, William, and later his dear friend Henry, are both believed to be the result of the creature seeking revenge for Victor’s abandonment.

During this time, Victor’s health deteriorates, and he is cared for by the kind-hearted family of cottagers. He becomes a companion to the family and finds solace in their simple way of life. However, he is unable to fully accept their love and happiness, as the monster’s presence in his life continues to haunt him.

Meanwhile, Mary Shelley introduces the character of Justine Moritz, the family’s servant, who is accused of William’s murder and executed. This tragic event further highlights the destructive nature of the monster and Victor’s responsibility for his creation.

As the novel progresses, the monster demands that Victor create a female companion for him, promising that they will then leave humanity alone. Victor initially agrees to the plan, but later destroys the partially completed female creature out of fear of what they might do together.

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The monster, enraged by Victor’s betrayal, vows to seek revenge on his creator by murdering those dear to him. He takes the life of Victor’s fiancée, Elizabeth, on their wedding night, leaving Victor devastated and filled with guilt.

Frankenstein’s monster, like many of the monsters in Shelley’s novel, is a complex character. He is both a victim of Victor’s ambition and a symbol of humanity’s dark side. The novel raises questions about the ethical boundaries of science and the responsibility that comes with creation.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein presents a chilling chronology of events that highlights the consequences of playing God and the dangers of unchecked scientific progress. It serves as a cautionary tale, urging readers to consider the potential impact of their actions and the power they may wield.

In summary, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” taps into the fears and anxieties of her time, weaving a tale of monstrous creation and its devastating consequences. The medical history and philosophical demands of the era are reflected in the novel’s narrative, reminding us of the delicate balance between progress and morality.

The Monster Demands for a Companion

The monster’s demand for a companion arises after he saves a farmer named John from drowning. The monster secretly observes John’s family on their farm and becomes fascinated by their interactions and relationships. He sees the love and companionship that exists between them and desires the same for himself.

After months of contemplating and learning about the world through books, the monster approaches Victor Frankenstein with a bold request – he demands that Victor creates a female companion for him. The monster believes that having someone like himself by his side will fill the void in his life and alleviate his loneliness.

Victor, torn between his fear of the consequences and his sympathy for the monster’s plea, considers the request. He contemplates whether it would be morally justifiable to create a female monster, fearing the potential havoc they could wreak upon humanity. He also worries that if the female monster and his original creation become united, their collective power for revenge could be devastating.

While Victor ponders over the monster’s proposition, his health declines. He becomes consumed by thoughts of the monster and the potential outcomes of creating a companion for him. At the same time, he is haunted by the deaths of those close to him, including his young brother William and his dear friend Henry.

As Victor’s fear and guilt consume him, the monster’s demand for a companion becomes a prominent theme in the novel. The monster’s desperate need for companionship serves as a constant reminder of the consequences that Victor’s creation has brought upon them all.

In the end, Victor rejects the monster’s demand, fearing the potential consequences of creating a female monster. This decision ultimately leads to the monster’s revenge and the destruction of Victor’s life. The pursuit of a companion serves as a catalyst for the series of tragic events that follow.

The monster’s demand for a companion raises complex questions about the ethics of creation and the responsibilities that come with them. Mary Shelley’s exploration of these themes offers a poignant and thought-provoking reflection on the consequences of playing god and the inherent loneliness that can come from being different and misunderstood.

John Martin Rare Book Room

The room itself is described as a place where Victor Frankenstein often spent his time, engrossed in his studies and philosophical reveries. It is here that he first conceives the idea of creating life from dead body parts, driven by a desire to conquer death and achieve scientific greatness. His obsession with this idea ultimately leads to the creation of his monstrous creature.

Within the frames of this room, Victor writes letters to his dear friend, Henry Clerval, describing his progress and the strange occurrences surrounding his experiments.

When Victor’s younger brother, William, is murdered, he returns to the room in grief and ponders whether the monster he created could be responsible for the death. Victor’s fears are confirmed when he sees the monster lurking outside the room, and he becomes consumed with a desire for revenge.

Later in the novel, Victor’s health deteriorates, and he is taken care of in the John Martin Rare Book Room. Here, he demands that Henry help him in his plan to create a female companion for the monster, hoping that this will satisfy the creature’s need for companionship and prevent further destruction.

Unfortunately, Victor’s plan doesn’t come to fruition, and the monster, furious with his creator’s broken promise, goes on a rampage. He murders Victor’s friend, Henry, and demands that Victor create a female companion for him, threatening to destroy everything Victor holds dear if he doesn’t comply.

In the end, Victor dies, and the monster laments his own lonely existence. He vows to destroy himself, ensuring that no more monstrous beings like him will roam the Earth.

The John Martin Rare Book Room in Frankenstein is not just a physical location within the story but also a symbol of the characters’ quest for knowledge, the consequences of playing God, and the destructive power of ambition.

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William’s Murder

Victor’s plan to become a medical student started long before this event. In fact, the murder of William became a catalyst for Victor to delve deeper into his studies and create the monster, thinking he could bring William back to life. This tragedy mirrors the story of “Werter” that Victor read and the deaths of Henry’s and Elizabeth’s brothers. It also reflects Mary Shelley’s view on the rare instances of female murderers in her time.

Within the original novel, Mary Shelley frames the story of William’s murder as a tale told by the monster to Victor. This narrative technique adds to the suspense and fear surrounding the event. The monster describes its own reveries and philosophy during the time of William’s murder, as well as the events leading up to it, including the deaths of Justine and John.

While Victor still doesn’t fully accept the monster as the killer, he begins to suspect it when he sees the locket he gave to William in the monster’s possession. This realization fills Victor with fear and guilt, as he knows he is responsible for the creation of the monster. It is during this time that he destroys the female creature he had been working on, further complicating the monster’s vengeance.

On Thursday, the day after William’s murder, Justine is falsely accused of the crime and subsequently executed. Victor’s theory about the monster’s motivations is then tested when the monster threatens to kill more of his loved ones if Victor doesn’t create a companion for it. Victor, torn between his fear of the monster and his moral convictions, grapples with the decision of whether to accept or reject the monster’s request.

As the timeline progresses, the murder of William serves as a turning point in the novel. It marks the beginning of a series of tragic events and deaths, highlighting the destructive nature of Victor’s creation. Mary Shelley’s portrayal of the monster’s actions and Victor’s responses also raises philosophical questions about responsibility and the consequences of playing with nature.

Henry’s Death

Within Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein,” the death of Henry Clerval, Victor Frankenstein’s close friend and companion, serves as a pivotal moment in the story. It occurs after the creation of the monster and amidst the tragic events that the Frankenstein family has endured.

Henry’s death is closely tied to the murders of Justine Moritz and William Frankenstein, who were both innocent victims of the monster’s wrath. Justine, a young servant adopted by the Frankenstein family, is wrongly accused of William’s murder and is executed. Elizabeth, Victor’s adopted sister and love interest, is devastated by Justine’s death. The loss of both these innocent lives further fuels Victor’s determination for revenge against the creature he brought into existence.

Henry’s demise comes when Victor receives a letter from his father about William’s murder. Overwhelmed with grief and guilt, Victor leaves Geneva to pursue his creation and embarks on a journey that will ultimately lead him to the North Pole. Unbeknownst to him, the monster has been shadowing him every step of the way, causing destruction and death in its wake.

During his travels, Victor falls ill with a fever and is taken care of by Henry. However, Henry’s kindness is cut short when the monster murders him on a Thursday. The scene is described by Victor as a “ghastly and vivid horror,” further highlighting the terror and violence that the monster is capable of.

Henry’s death marks a turning point in the narrative. It is not only a devastating loss for Victor but also serves as a reminder of the destructive power of the monster he created. The event solidifies Victor’s determination to destroy his creation and seek vengeance for the lives it has taken.

It is worth noting that Henry’s death also mirrors the death of Victor’s younger brother, William. Both deaths occur when the victims are alone in the presence of the monster, emphasizing the isolation and vulnerability of the Frankenstein family.

FAQ

What is the chronology of events in Frankenstein?

The chronology of events in Frankenstein is as follows: Victor creates the monster, the monster demands a companion, Victor plans for revenge, Victor destroys the female monster, Elizabeth dies, William is murdered, Henry dies, Justine dies, Victor dies.

What happens when the monster demands a companion?

When the monster demands a companion, Victor first refuses to create another being. However, after the monster threatens to ruin Victor’s life, he reluctantly agrees to create a female monster for him.

What happens when Victor destroys the female monster?

After Victor creates the female monster, he has a change of heart and decides not to bring her to life. In a fit of rage, the monster promises to seek revenge on Victor by killing those he loves.

What is Victor’s plan for revenge?

Victor’s plan for revenge is to track down and kill the monster who has caused him so much misery and suffering. He becomes obsessed with this mission and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

How does the story of Frankenstein end?

The story of Frankenstein ends with Victor’s death. After a long pursuit, he finally confronts the monster in the Arctic and dies of exhaustion and hypothermia. The monster, overcome with grief, vows to take his own life.

What is the Frankenstein timeline?

The Frankenstein timeline is a chronological overview of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, detailing the key events and plot points in the story.

What happens when the monster demands a companion?

When the monster demands a companion, he implores Victor Frankenstein to create a female companion for him. He believes that having a companion will alleviate his loneliness and isolation.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.