Contents Index

left childless

Frankenstein is a novel haunted by the spectre of death. Not yet a quarter of the way through the novel, the reader will encounter in Justine the fifth orphan (after Walton and his sister, Caroline, and Elizabeth). Beyond this repeated pattern, death has touched each chapter of the novel, first as Walton recounts how he inherited a fortune upon the death of an unnamed cousin (Letter 1.3 and note), the decline of Alphonse Frankenstein's friend Beaufort (1.1.2), the sudden demise of Caroline Frankenstein (1.2.2), Victor's nocturnal visits to vaults and charnel houses (1.3.3), his association of his Creature with mummies and ghouls (1.4.3), and the death of Justine's three siblings and mother in this paragraph. The actual context for this narrative should, of course, not be forgotten, an unexplored reach of the Arctic wilderness where the sight of another human being (Letter 4.2) provokes "unqualified wonder."