Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley | Go to book overview

Chapter 22

THE VOYAGE came to an end. We landed and proceeded to Paris. I soon found that I had overtaxed my strength, and that I must repose before I could continue my journey. My father's care and attentions were indefatigable; but he did not know the origin of my sufferings, and sought erroneous methods to remedy the incurable ill. He wished me to seek amusement in society. I abhorred the face of man. Oh, not abhorred! they were my brethren, my fellow beings, and I felt attracted even to the most repulsive among them as to creatures of an angelic nature and celestial mechanism. But I felt that I had no right to share their intercourse. I had unchained an enemy among them, whose joy it was to shed their blood and to revel in their groans. How they would, each and all, abhor me, and hunt me from the world, did they know my unhallowed acts and the crimes which had their source in me!

My father yielded at length to my desire to avoid society, and strove by various arguments to banish my despair. Sometimes he thought that I felt deeply the degradation of being obliged to answer a charge of murder, and he endeavoured to prove to me the futility of pride.

"Alas! my father," said I, "how little do you know me. Human beings, their feelings and passions, would indeed be degraded if such a wretch as I felt pride. Justine, poor unhappy Justine, was as innocent as I, and she suffered the same charge; she died for it; and I am the cause of this -- I murdered her. William, Justine, and Henry -- they all died by my hands."

My father had often, during my imprisonment, heard me make the same assertion; when I thus accused myself he sometimes seemed to desire an explanation, and at others he appeared to consider it as the offspring of delirium, and that, during my illness, some idea of this kind had presented itself to my imagination, the remembrance of which I preserved in my convalescence. I avoided explanation, and maintained a continual silence concerning the wretch I had created. I had a persuasion that I should be supposed mad; and this in itself would for ever have chained my tongue. But, besides, I could

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Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Introduction- (to the 1831 Edition) 7
  • Letter 1 13
  • Letter 2 16
  • Letter 3 19
  • Letter 4 20
  • Chapter 1 27
  • Chapter 2 31
  • Chapter 3 36
  • Chapter 4 42
  • Chapter 5 48
  • Chapter 6 54
  • Chapter 7 60
  • Chapter 8 69
  • Chapter 9 76
  • Chapter 10 81
  • Chapter 11 87
  • Chapter 12 93
  • Chapter 13 98
  • Chapter 14 103
  • Chapter 15 108
  • Chapter 16 115
  • Chapter 17 122
  • Chapter 18 127
  • Chapter 19 134
  • Chapter 20 140
  • Chapter 21 148
  • Chapter 22 157
  • Chapter 23 165
  • Chapter 24 171
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