Contents Index

to pursue my studies alone

Mary Shelley here suggestively reveals that Victor's self-education involves no sense of social responsibility for the knowledge he might attain. Victor's withdrawal from Elizabeth and barring of Clerval from his confidence also initiates a pattern of being secretive about that knowledge, whether it is in the construction of the Creature (1.3.6) or the withholding of evidence from a court examining a murder (1.7.1). That he has conducted his entire life without candor will increasingly be seen to have implications for the veracity of the narrative, since, after such a pattern of evasion becomes clear, the reader might well begin to wonder why we should credit what he says in the present instance as the unvarnished truth.