Victor Frankenstein begins to explain how the Creature (Frankenstein's Monster, more properly known as Adam) was created. After swearing that he is telling the truth, he begins his tale. Victor was fascinated by the human body. He often wondered about the existence of the afterlife. As a result of his pondering, he began to wonder if he could create a man by building one.
Victor began studying anatomy, but soon took to observing the process of human decomposition. His father took care that Victor would not be horrified by tales of supernatural creatures like vampires and ghosts. As a result, Victor was unaffected by horror stories or apparitions. He was also unafraid of the dark, and churchyards were nothing more than what they appeared to be. Victor spent his days studying how the perfection of the human body slowly began corrupted by death. It was then that he got the idea to bring the dead back to life. The power of the idea was enough to make him slightly dizzy. Victor notices his audience's desire to be told the secret and quickly explains that he will take it to his grave, promising to explain why at a later time.
Victor began working on his project in his attic study/laboratory. He became obsessed with it, seeing himself as the creator of a new species. Victor fantasized about eventually moving from creating life to restoring it, admitting to himself that at the moment it was impossible. He made several trips to the local graveyard to collect the freshest body parts he could find. The scientist then stitched the pieces together. His human nature loathed the process, but Victor ignored it. Victor's father, although having no idea what his son was doing, grew slightly worried that Victor was neglecting his other duties, but reassured him that he still loved him. The actual creation process itself is left unexplained, although it is widely believed that lightning was involved.
Victor finally brings Adam to life. However, he is horrified by its corpse-like appearance. He muses that he expected it to be beautiful, not understanding that it looks ugly because it was made from dead bodies. Victor leaves the room and begins pacing his bedchamber, unable to sleep. When he finally does, he dreams of his betrothed, alive once more. As he kisses her, the woman changes into the corpse of his mother. A grave shroud covers her and maggots crawl on it. He wakes up in a cold sweat. Adam is standing nearby holding up the bed curtain and scaring Victor again. Adam makes an attempt to speak and reaches out to his creator, but the doctor does not listen and flees to his home's courtyard. Victor spends the rest of the night there, listening for the footsteps of his creation.