real insanity possessed me
It is easy to overlook the weight of this statement, but "real"
should be given its due meaning. Following the accounts of
Victor's attempted suicide (3.4.10) and his father's
questioning earlier in this chapter whether his son was not
actually mad, (3.5.2) these
symptoms, an alteration between violent rage and withdrawn
lethargy, point to a serious manic-depressive condition. For
Elizabeth this has to be extraordinarily trying: the depressed
state Victor was in when he had left her, both upon undertaking
the excursion to Chamounix (2.1.4, 2.1.5) and in the aftermath of
his encounter with the Creature (3.1.1), had been serious enough,
but the extremity into which it has developed hardly bodes well
for her future with him. Even so, Elizabeth reverts to her
characteristic vocation of nurse.