Contents Index

destined for some great enterprise

Whether this is seen as an attempt on Victor's part to rewrite his initial account, as an overt expression of a megalomania earlier under firmer control, or as simply a more commanding perspective on his youthful passion, a comparison with the first chapter of his narrative (1.1.8) yields no sense of Victor's feeling singled out for accomplishment, but rather a somewhat wry recollection of a self-indulgent adolescence. Even his remove to Ingolstadt and the most advanced medical school of central Europe is a decision totally "resolved" (1.2.1) by his parents. It is true that Victor has consistently appealed to a ruling destiny (1.1.6, 1.2.8, 3.4.9) to justify the course of his life. Indeed, it could be argued that his narrative to Walton constitutes a writing of the plot of that destiny, so that by its end every event in his life appears logically necessitated. In that case the force of his autobiography would require that the early chapters be revised to accommodate this narrative necessity. Once again the reader senses in its capacity for revision an underlying instability in the text of the novel. This indeterminacy is finely underscored in the 1831 revision where "I believed myself destined" is substituted for "I felt as if I were destined."