astonishment of the students
The condescension Victor so easily adopts toward Professor Krempe here seems to extend as well to his peers among the students. Within another chapter we will witness yet a further example of how Victor's sense of superiority combines with an almost instinctive aversion to those he considers in some sense inferior to him. His observation here may thus be intended by Mary Shelley to help prepare us for his sudden rejection of the Creature to whom he gives life. Yet it might also be designed to bear a double reading: not just that Victor's fellow-students are in awe of his commitment, but that they are aware of something neurotic in its intensity.