Contents Index

ardent desire

The resonaces of this phrase for both Victor (see 1.2.3), his Creature (see 2.5.3 and Walton 15), Walton (Letter 3), and even the beneficent Mr. Kirwin (3.4.6) are another indication of how carefully Mary Shelley, in this final chapter of Victor's narration, is engaged in marking thematic unities across the various levels of her fictional panorama. "Ardent desire," though if untempered it can lead to a solipsistic irresponsibilty, is nonetheless an essential human principle. Its abrogation here, which will be reinforced by Victor's repetition of this disclaimer in his last moments (see Walton 10), indicates how whole is Victor's reversal from the student who undertook his career at Ingolstadt because he so "ardently desired the acquisition of knowledge" (1.2.3).