Contents Index

a deep and deadly revenge

On an uncomplicated psychological plane Mary Shelley is representing the simple dynamics of the Creature's alienation. With no other presence to balance or feel for this injustice, in his solitude he works himself into a confirmed opposition to the world that has rejected and threatened him. The Enlightenment virtues of benevolence and sympathy, were they ever to be encountered by the Creature, would by their very nature undercut his introverted and exclusionary mental state and enforce a social communion. Once again, as in Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude," published in March 1816, we recognize that solitude constitutes an evil spirit leading one to ill. The opening paragraph of Volume 2, in which Victor Frankenstein reveals himself similarly introverted and plotting revenge as a means of assuaging his self-hatred is, indeed, an appropriate introduction to this dynamic that arches across the volume (see 2.1.1 and note).