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whose misfortune it was always to meddle with the dark side of human nature

In keeping with the tenor of this paragraph, the sentence bears a double freight. On the one hand, one could see Elizabeth as wishing to hide from the darker realities of the world and therefore as the embodiment of a kind of bland domesticity. On the other hand, as we have witnessed in the previous two chapters, a human being can become so inured to those darker realities as, like Victor Frankenstein, to lose perspective and a due sense of social responsibility.