Contents Index

commanded his countenance

The connotations of this verb, along with the panoply of described emotions surrounding it, forcefully indicate Victor's awareness of the effect he has had on his audience over the previous six days. Walton's language, however, coming immediately upon his assuming what purports to be a narrative objectivity, seems intended to have an even more pronounced effect on the larger audience of Mary Shelley's novel. Where Walton may feel he is experiencing an authentic emotionality, we in our greater detachment may wish instead to discern in Victor's recounted autobiography an accomplished actor's knowing manipulation of his subject matter and his audience.