a palpable enemy
Victor's diction here reflects experiences to which we as readers
have yet to become privy, experiences that have forced upon him a
psychological condition that conceives of the world in terms of adversarial
struggle. This is an example of the shrewd linguistic forecasting that we
find everywhere in the early chapters of Mary Shelley's revised 1831 text.
In this case we are alerted to how much those experiences have warped Victor's
notion of reality into a series of antagonistic states. The "palpable
enemy," which is here figured in spiritual terms, will become objectified in
the Creature that he unleashes upon the world and who becomes dangerous
precisely because he is treated as an enemy.