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a power as mighty as Omnipotence

To a later reader accustomed to the 1818 edition or to the customary biographical terrain of Mary Shelley's family associations, these phrases come with a sense almost of shock. Even within the terms set by the novel itself they do not seem to ring true to the general distance kept thus far between the characters and conventional religious expression. The reader has the choice of construing this interpolation as a sign of a shift in Mary Shelley's rhetorical palette to accommodate an early Victorian religious sensibility (which has been asserted by some critics). On the other hand, this could be interpreted instead as an attempt on her part to prepare us for the deep, if primitive, religious faith that will eventually be invoked by Victor to sanction his single-minded pursuit of revenge against his Creature. In other words, not all rhetorical alterations portend changes in the author's own opinions.