Chapter 8

Synopsis of Volume 2 Chapter 8

Wandering in the wood after this event, the creature declares war on humanity and particularly on Frankenstein.

When he discovers that the De Laceys can no longer bear to live in their cottage, he burns it down in anger at what he regards as desertion and sets off for Geneva in search of Frankenstein.

In the course of a long and difficult journey, he rescues a young woman from drowning, but is shot and wounded by her companion, an incident that increases his hatred of humanity.

When he comes close to Geneva, the creature meets William, and, on discovering he is Frankenstein's brother, murders him, and plants the miniature on Justine.

Commentary on Volume 2 Chapter 8

I, like the arch fiend, bore a hell within me: in Volume 1, Chapter 7, Victor has alluded to this description of Satan from Paradise Lost.

‘… the hot Hell that always in him burns,
Though in mid Heav'n, soon ended his delight'
Book 9, lines 467-9

I declared everlasting war against the species: in this sense, the creature is again like Satan, who declares war on God, his Creator. Since the creature has been created by Frankenstein, a human, he is acting in the same way.

‘And now, with the world before me, whither should I bend my steps?': an allusion to the closing lines of Paradise Lost. The allusion is ironic, because the creature has never really inhabited an Eden, has no companion as he sets out on his journey and cannot rely on God's Providence.

The World was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wand' ring steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.
Book 12, lines 646-9

Investigating Volume 2 Chapter 8

To what extent does the creature retain the reader's sympathy during this chapter? More on the reader's attitude to the creature?
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