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Fall Angel/Malignant Devil; or, Poisoned with Remorse

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Frankenstein’s father dies of a broken heart, and his son devotes himself to the monster’s destruction, pursuing him through the Mediterranean to Russia. They are both driven. The Creature leaves a message to prepare for “a journey where your sufferings will satisfy my everlasting hatred.” The chase moves to the Arctic, where Captain Walton’s crew finds Frankenstein.

Walton resumes the narrative through letters to his sister. In his dying breath, Frankenstein asks the Captain to kill the Creature: “That he should live to be an instrument of mischief disturbs me; in other respects, this hour, when I momentarily expect my release, is the only happy one which I have enjoyed for several years. ... Farewell, Walton! Seek happiness in tranquillity, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries.”

As Walton writes, he is interrupted: “Again; there is a sound as of a human voice, but hoarser; it comes from the cabin where the remains of Frankenstein still lie. I must arise, and examine.” It is the Creature, bent over his creator. He exclaims, “Oh, Frankenstein! generous and self-devoted being! What does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me?” Walton chides him for not showing repentance earlier, but the Creature tells of the great agony and remorse he has felt: “My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy; and, when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change, without torture such as you cannot even imagine.”

Now, he says, he will sacrifice himself upon a funeral pile, so that his “remains may afford no light to any curious and unhallowed wretch, who would create such another as I have been”: “Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell.”