Contents Index

cannot begin life anew

Although the extent of Victor's losses must await his own narration, his despairing language here calls attention to itself and introduces several themes that will be developed in the course of the novel. One is psychic death: a person who cannot renew life is, in some profound sense, not truly alive, a condition made famous by Coleridge in the idea of "Life-in-Death" advanced in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," line 193. Philosophically speaking, Victor's language reflects a deterministic viewpoint. Readers will observe how often he invokes destiny or a like sense of fatality driving the course of his existence.