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an evil spirit

Mary Shelley seems deliberately to invoke the terms of Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Alastor: or, the Spirit of Solitude," published in March 1816 a few months before the summer trip to Geneva. The title was suggested by their friend Thomas Love Peacock, poet and novelist, and an autodidact in classical Greek, who conveyed to Percy Bysshe Shelley the aptness of using the Greek word for a kakodaimon, "alastor," as the governing term for his poem. The word kakodaimon translates exactly into the "evil spirit" invoked here by Victor Frankenstein, and its association with solitude is manifest in these circumstances as well. At the same time, a sensitive reader cannot help observing the likeness of this term to the diction Victor commonly uses to describe his Creature, which he now, without recognizing the similarity, applies to himself.