Contents Index

to utter sounds

Only at this point, at the end of the chapter, do we become aware that the Creature has, up to now, no ability to relate linguistically, that he is still operating on the non-verbal level of the sparrows and thrushes whose sounds he first discriminated (2.3.2). Although presumably the De Lacey family speaks during the ongoing business of the day, except for the "few sounds" (2.3.6) that were uttered by the young man outside the cottage and by the old man when his music elicited tears, this account is, as it were, rendered against a backdrop of total silence except for the interlude of music. Mary Shelley's artistic refinement in rendering this silence intensifies, in contrast, the importance of words and of communication for the world of her novel.