An English explorer, Robert Walton, is on an expedition to the North Pole. In letters to his sister Margaret Saville, he keeps his family informed of his situation and tells about the difficult conditions on the ship. One day when the ship is completely surrounded by ice, a man in bad condition is taken aboard: Victor Frankenstein. As soon as his health allows it, he tells Walton the story of his life.

He grew up in Geneva, Switzerland as the eldest son of a higher class family. He was brought up with an orphan, Elizabeth and also had two younger brothers. He did not have many friends, Henry Clerval being the only exception. Of course, this was long before people were able to communicate online via email or play games such as partypoker, and so he had led a relatively solitary life. At the age of nineteen, Frankenstein became interested in natural philosophy, electricity, chemistry and mathematics. After the death of his mother, who succumbed to scarlet fever, Frankenstein left for Ingolstadt, Germany, to attend university. There, his interest in natural philosophy quickly became an obsession. He was particularly fascinated with the human frame and the principle of life. After four years of fanatic studying, not keeping in contact with his family, he was able to "bestow animation upon lifeless matter" and created a monster of gigantic proportion from assembled body parts taken from graveyards, slaughterhouses and dissecting rooms. As soon as the creature opened his eyes, however, the beauty of Frankenstein's dream vanished: it became a horrible creature. He realised he made a mistake in creating this monster and fled from his laboratory.