Contents Index

I beheld a countenance of angelic beauty

We have no comparable description of Elizabeth Lavenza from Victor, whose appreciation of her virtues overshadows the few physical details he gives of her upon his return to his family at the end of Chapter 6 of the first volume. In the unself-conscious innocence of the Creature, in contrast, not only do we realize that he has a nuanced appreciation for the beautiful, but we also comprehend that strong romantic desire -- not a subject in which Victor seems particularly adept -- is an aspect of his makeup, perhaps to be considered normal for a human being, but in the Creature's circumstances deeply problematical. Mary Shelley's delicate handling of the Creature's awakening to desire is an index of the complexity with which she endows his character.