Contents Index

the affections

In these late frames Victor's ramblings tend to touch on themes represented early in the novel and subsequently rather shunted to the side by the pressure of events. Thus, Victor's underscoring of the domestic affections as the arena for human life's most cherished actions reflects the nostalgic view of his childhood expressed in his first chapter (1.1.4, 1.1.5), and strongly reinforced by his bitter recriminations over his withdrawal from this arena at Ingolstadt (1.3.8 and note). That the novel's actual focus is rather the opposite has been remarked more than once by critics. Certainly, the ultimate value of what on the surface appear to be peaceful domestic affections is thrown into question by the behavior of the cottagers to the Creature in Volume 2 (2.7.10) or the scapegoating of Justine conducted by the pious burghers of Geneva in Volume 1 (1.7.5).