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Frankenstein - Alternate Ending

Maricruz has associates degrees in English and Spanish, loves to read, drink coffee, and write!


It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw a convulsive motion agitate the dull yellow creature’s limbs.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! - Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his shriveled complexion and straight black lips.

The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Despite this novel disgust I felt, I ignited the spark again, and again, and again. As if some mechanical phenomenon had overtaken my fingers, I was unable to stop myself from the continued attempts to excite the reaction I had just observed in the creature. His limbs had convulsed, I had seen it. And yet there he lay, now as unmoving as the death from where he had come. Another hour I tried the same futile attempts with only two more convulsions to add to the first inexplicable consequence of my actions. How the force of my instruments were able to produce the appearance of life but not life itself was a mystery, and at length I ceased my attempts, letting the full weight of my disgust settle into the pit of my stomach. I was disgusted not only with the abomination I had created, but also with the impotence of my struggles. How had it come to this?

Unable to endure this terrible reality, I rushed towards the door, intent on reaching my bedchamber; the door however would not yield to the weight of me as I attempted to burst through it. It was jammed! I struck the unyielding wood with my useless hands, only eliciting a yelp from my own lips at the pain.

Turning back towards the creature, I found the contents of my stomach turn. After a bout of illness at my own depravity, I walked towards the creature, intending to cover him with the many sheets I had available for concealing my unholy work. Halfway to the ghastly thing, my overworked candle finally extinguished, and I was left in sudden inky darkness - with the lifeless twice-dead butchery I had created.

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Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. “Chapter 5.” Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, Bibliologica Press, 2021.

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