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this apparition seemed to denote that it was not, in reality, so distant

This phrase, which is the first written in reflexive thought about the Creature, immediately establishes a threat to presumptions of scientific facticity, as the presence of this alien existence casts its shadow over all facile assumptions and assurances, leaving uncertainty in its wake. Such indeterminacy will increasingly come to dominate the narrative of events in Frankenstein. The fact that the Creature and Victor are traveling not over solid land but upon the fragile surface of ice is exactly emblematic of the problematic nature of reality that Mary Shelley introduces to the novel here.