Contents Index

been destroyed

Victor suddenly shows a political consciousness that has not been active up to this point. The context suggests that the enclosed world of the domestic affections, governed by a feminine sensibility, is threatened -- and through history actually destroyed -- by the masculinist drive for power. This is a sentiment with which both her father William Godwin and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley would have agreed. In the shadow of the Napoleonic Wars and the reinstitution of reactionary monarchies across Europe, it is a sentiment not in accord with the prevailing state of political opinion in England.

It could be argued that Victor simply serves momentarily as mouthpiece for the author's pointedly liberal views to surface. What would complicate that supposition is the fact that this series of political failures is identical with those the Creature derives from the oral reading of Volney's Ruins of Empire by Felix De Lacey (see 2.5.4). If we focus on that identity retrospectively, we are suddenly confronted with the amazing fact that Victor, whether he registered it or not, will actually learn something concrete from the Creature's narration in the second volume of the novel.