Contents Index

until the decline of life that he thought of marrying

Mary Shelley seems to have an adolescent's sense of what constitutes the "decline of life." When we are introduced to Alphonse Frankenstein, a man who remained unmarried for at least another two years after his decision to wed and and who then had three children across a timespan of sixteen years, he seems as yet not to have begun the decline attributed to him here. His delay in marriage is shared by Victor who finds numerous reasons for postponing his nuptials with Elizabeth Lavenza. That this is a family trait Mary Shelley wishes to accentuate rather than the reflection of some antiromantic convention of her own or of her time is indicated by the case of Felix De Lacey, who falls deeply in love at a young age.