Course Hero. "Frankenstein Study Guide." Course Hero. 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 27 May 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Frankenstein/>.
Course Hero. (2016, August 10). Frankenstein Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 27, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Frankenstein/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Frankenstein Study Guide." August 10, 2016. Accessed May 27, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Frankenstein/.
Course Hero, "Frankenstein Study Guide," August 10, 2016, accessed May 27, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Frankenstein/.
Professor Regina Buccola of Roosevelt University provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Volume 3: Chapter 6 of Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein (1818).
Victor continues his relation. He and Elizabeth walked along the shore near the inn where they were staying. Back at the inn, an hour after it started raining, Victor convinced Elizabeth to go to bed. He stalked through the halls with his gun, on guard for the Monster. Suddenly, Victor heard a "shrill and dreadful scream," and he quickly grasped what had occurred. On hearing a second scream, he rushed to their room to find Elizabeth strangled. He fainted. People at the inn tried to console him, but he returned to Elizabeth and confirmed she was dead. Victor saw the Monster outside, grinning, and shot at him but missed, and the Monster got away. Victor and people from Evian went looking for the murderer, and then the others continued without him.
Crying for the dead, Victor feared for Alphonse and Ernest and rushed back to Geneva. Soon after Mr. Frankenstein heard the news, he died of a fit caused by grief. Following his father's death, Victor says, "I lost sensation." Thought mad, he was placed in a cell for months.
Regaining sanity, Victor vowed revenge, and one month later told the local magistrate the story of the Monster. The magistrate was polite but, while drawn in with a "half kind of belief," clearly didn't fully believe Victor's story or intend to act on it, concluding Victor was still somewhat insane. Victor left.
When Victor and Elizabeth arrive at the inn, "the wind, which had fallen in the south, now rose with great violence in the west ... the clouds swept across it [the moon] swifter than the flight of the vulture and dimmed her rays." Victor says that the night is "dreadful, very dreadful." The foul weather creates a gothic mood, while the word choices enhance it and provide foreshadowing. For example, the violence of the wind foreshadows the murder to come; the idea of the "vulture" foreshadows death and characterizes the Monster, who is made of the kind of carrion vultures eat; the phrase "dimmed her rays" foreshadows Elizabeth's death and the end of any potential for Victor's happiness.
The misunderstanding underlying Victor's reaction to the Monster's threat "I shall be with you on your wedding-night!" is finally revealed. Victor assumes in his egotism that the Monster will kill him. It never crosses his mind that the Monster intends to kill Elizabeth instead. Her murder makes much more sense, however, because Victor destroyed the Monster's mate by violently tearing apart the body before finishing it. This is the climax of the novel, as the Monster has stripped Victor of his family, his friend, and his bride. As a result, Victor begins to lose his humanity and becomes like the Monster, isolated and lonely, devoted only to revenge. It is also fitting that the Monster strangles Elizabeth; he kills her with his hands, just as Victor tears apart the Monster's intended mate.
As he relates his story to the magistrate, Victor says, "I do not doubt that he [the Monster] hovers near the spot which I inhabit," indicating he believes the Monster is somewhere nearby, hiding but dangerously present. It seems the Monster knows where Victor is at all times, adding another mysterious, supernatural or gothic element to the book. Victor's ability to sense the Monster, in turn, furthers the linkage between the two of them (a twisted kind of companionship). The Monster is, in a sense, Victor's double, or shadow self. As a shadow, he has a special bond to Victor. This tradition, called doppelgänger ("double goer") for the first time in 1796, comes from the ancient German concept that each living creature has an exact copy. The twin may exist as a phantom or as a real human.
In this chapter, Victor finally—for the first time—confesses the full truth of what he has done. The magistrate, lacking proof, cannot believe his fantastical story; Victor being mad is the only way to explain his account. The bulk of the novel, of course, is Victor telling his story in detail to Walton, who will eventually see proof that confirms it.
Elizabeth's live body made dead by the Monster contrasts with the dead body that Victor brought to life to form the Monster. She is "lifeless and inanimate"; Victor had animated the lifeless body of the Monster but can do nothing for her. She is pale, with "bloodless arms." The Monster's yellow skin "scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath."