Contents Index


Like "ardent curiosity" in the previous paragraph (Letter 1.2), "enthusiasm" bears a double sense, both good and bad, throughout the novel. It will be taken over by Victor Frankenstein, who is gripped as a student by what he calls "an almost supernatural enthusiasm" (1.3.3), which he likens to the force of a hurricane (1.3.6). In the retrospect of years and their incumbent disasters he terms it first an enthusiastic frenzy (3.2.8) and, more starkly in the last moments of his existence, an enthusiastic madness (Walton 10).