Like "ardent curiosity" in the previous paragraph (Letter 1.2), "enthusiasm" bears a double
sense, both good and bad, throughout the novel. It will be taken over by
Victor Frankenstein, who is gripped as a student by what he calls "an
almost supernatural enthusiasm" (1.3.3), which he likens to the force of a
hurricane (1.3.6). In the retrospect
of years and their incumbent disasters he terms it first an enthusiastic
frenzy (3.2.8) and, more starkly in the
last moments of his existence, an enthusiastic madness (Walton 10).