As Your Read 
Think about it: Who is the real monster in this story?

Illustration by Shane Rebenschied


R.1, R.3, R.4, R.6, R.7, W.3, SL.1, SL.2, L.4, L.6 


Based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel


N1: Long ago, in Germany, a young scientist had a dream. 

N2: He wanted to bring the dead back to life. 

N3: This man was Victor Frankenstein.

N1: For two years, Victor collected body parts—

N2: —legs, arms, hearts, eyeballs, and more.

N3: He stitched them together to make a creature. 

N1: And soon his life would never be the same . . .


N2: Victor stands in his laboratory. 

N3: On a table is the body of a man—8 feet tall. 

N1: Wind rattles the windows.

N2: Rain pounds the roof. 

Victor: Tonight, my creature will come to life! 

N3: There is a flash of lightning and a crash of thunder.

N1: Then the creature opens his eyes. 

N2: Victor jumps back, a look of disgust on his face. 

Victor: Your eyes are so yellow. Your skin is so pale. 

N3: The creature sits up. 

Creature: Aaaaarrrgh!

N1: The creature climbs off the table and tries to walk.  

Victor: You were supposed to be beautiful . . . but . . .

N2: There is another crash of thunder. 

Victor: You are the ugliest thing I have ever seen.

N3: The creature stumbles toward Victor. 

Victor: You are a monster! What have I done? 

N1: Victor runs from the room.


N2: The creature wanders into a small village. 

N3: He lumbers over to a group of people. 

Villager 1: Aaaaaah! Run!

Villager 2: Get away, you ugly thing!

N1: Everywhere the creature goes, people are scared by him. 

N2: Finally, he finds a small shack and crawls inside. 

N3: Through a hole in the wall, he can see into the window of the house next door. 

N1: A blind man lives there with his two grown children. 

N2: Day after day, the creature watches the family. 

N3: He learns to speak by listening to them.

De Lacey: Agatha, could you put another log on the fire, please? 

Agatha: Of course, Father. 

Creature (quietly): Fah-thurrr. 

N1: He secretly does them favors. 

N2: Agatha opens the front door to find a pile of chopped wood. 

Agatha: Felix, what a grand pile of firewood!

Felix: I didn’t chop that. 

Agatha: Then who did? 

De Lacey: It must be our guardian angel. 

Creature: Gar-dee-uhn ayn-jell.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images (Mary Shelley); Album/Alamy Stock Photo (Novel)

A Creepy Tale
Author Mary Shelley started writing the novel Frankenstein in 1816. She was just 18 years old.


N3: Months go by.

N1: The creature wants to be friends with the De Laceys.

Creature (to himself): The old man cannot see me. Maybe he will not hate me.  

N2: One day, Mr. De Lacey is home alone.

N3: The creature knocks on the door. 

De Lacey: Who’s there?

Creature: A traveler in need of rest.

De Lacey: Please, come and sit by the fire. What brings you here?

Creature: I am visiting some people who have never met me in person. I am worried.

De Lacey: About what? 

Creature: What if they don’t like me? 

De Lacey: Sometimes people judge you before they know you. 

Creature: People only see what I look like. I wish they could see that I am kind.

De Lacey: You sound like a very nice person. 

N1: Just then, Felix and Agatha arrive home. 

Agatha: Aaaaaagh!  

Felix: Get away from my father, you monster!

N2: Felix hits the creature with a stick. 

N3: The creature runs away into the woods. 

N1: He sinks to his knees. 

Creature: Am I not human?


N2: Months later, Victor is at his family’s home.

N3: He sits with his father and his fiancée, Elizabeth. 

Father: Victor, I have terrible news. Your little brother, William, is dead.

N1: Tears stream down Father’s face. 

Victor: What? How? 

Elizabeth: He wandered off one evening. Later, he was found strangled.

Victor: Who would do such a thing? 

N2: Suddenly, the creature’s face appears in the window. Only Victor sees it. 

Victor: The eyes! The yellow eyes!

Father: Eyes? What eyes, Victor?

N3: Victor rushes to the window, but the face is gone. 

Victor: Poor William. Is it all my fault?

Illustration by Shane Rebenschied

Whole New World 
Victor Frankenstein wasn’t a real person. Shelley created him in the early 1800s. At that time, many scientists were making new discoveries. Do you think Shelley was inspired by the world around her?


N1: Victor walks through the woods. 

Victor: I wanted to do good in the world. But I created a terrible evil. 

N2: Victor sees the creature coming toward him. 

Victor: Did you kill my brother? 

Creature: I wanted a friend. I thought a child might not care what I look like. 

Victor: And?

Creature: He called me a monster. I got angry and . . . 

Victor: You are an evil monster!

Creature: Because the whole world hates me! 

Victor: You are a mistake!

Creature: You made me. Do I not deserve to be happy? 

Victor: What do you want?  

Creature: I want you to make me a friend—someone as ugly as I am. 

Victor: I will not bring more evil into the world. 

Creature: If you make me a friend, we will live far away.

Victor: If you promise to leave humans alone forever, I will do it.


N3: Victor collects more body parts. 

N1: He goes to a small hut on a faraway island. 

N2: He sews the parts together. 

Victor: Am I making another mistake? 

N3: The creature appears in the doorway. 

N1: Victor thinks he sees an evil grin on his face. 

Victor: No! I won’t do it! I will not bring more horror into the world!

N2: Victor tears the new body to pieces. 

Creature: How dare you! You will be sorry.

Illustration by Shane Rebenschied

Lonely Monster
Frankenstein’s creature says he’s evil because he’s unloved. Do you feel sorry for him? Why or why not?


N3: Weeks later, Victor and Elizabeth are at a small inn. 

N1: They’ve just been married. 

Elizabeth: Let’s celebrate!

N2: They hear a sound outside. 

Elizabeth: What was that?

Victor: Stay here. 

N3: Victor grabs a sword and leaves the room. 

N1: He walks slowly down the hallway. 

N2: Suddenly, he hears a scream. 

Elizabeth: Aaaaaaahhhhh!

N3: Victor bursts back into the room. 

N1: Elizabeth is dead. 

Victor: No. No. NOOOOO!!! 

N2: Victor looks up at the window. 

N3: The creature is there. 

Creature: If I can’t be happy, then neither will you!

Victor: I will destroy you! 

N1: The creature runs off. Victor goes after him.


N2: For months, Victor chases the creature over land and sea. 

N3: They travel so far north, they reach an ocean of ice. 

N1: Victor is growing weak. 

Victor: I . . . I must kill him. 

N2: Victor falls onto the ice. 

Victor: I fear I will die soon. 

N3: The creature appears above him. 

Victor: Why did you kill what I loved most?  

Creature: I only ever wanted one thing. And I never got it.

Victor: What was that?

Creature: Love.

N1: Victor takes his final breath and dies.

N2: The creature grabs Victor’s hand. 

Creature: Forgive me. The world fed me hate, and hate filled me up. 

N3: The water beneath them rumbles. 

N1: The ice splits and cracks. 

N2: The creature stands next to Victor’s lifeless body. 

Creature: My life has been nothing but pain. When will it end? 

N3: He leaps onto a large piece of ice . . . 

N1: . . . and drifts off into the frozen darkness. 

Illustration by Shane Rebenschied

Movie Star
Frankenstein’s monster has appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows. This poster is from the 1931 film that was based on Shelley’s novel.


You’ve just read “Frankenstein.” Now it’s time to try this activity.

Tip: An inference is something that is not stated but can be figured out from clues in the text.

What to do: Imagine that you are Frankenstein’s creature. You float away on the ice and finally meet someone you can talk to. After hearing your story, your new friend has some questions. Make inferences to answer each question with at least one complete sentence.

Friend: How do you wish Victor had treated you when you first came to life?

Creature: ___

Friend: Why did you secretly do favors for the De Laceys?

Creature: ___

Friend: Why did you want Victor to make another creature like you?

Creature: ___

Friend: Victor believed that he had created evil by bringing you to life. Do you think he was right?

Creature: ___

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