Contents Index

September 2d

A week has elapsed since Walton's last entry in the letter to his sister, a notable absence in a time frame that has been previously so overcharged with event. The dating makes comparison almost inevitable, and the reader thus becomes conscious of the curious fact that the entirety of Victor's narration of his life took one day less than this week-long lacuna in which the late-summer ice has slowly but inexorably been heaved by the pressures of wind and sea into threatening mountains. The natural landscape, as is so often the case with Mary Shelley's treatment of the sublime Arctic wilderness, has a corollary in the psychological development of her characters, particularly in the nexus of guilt and destiny driving Victor.