a palpable enemy

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NOTES

a palpable enemy

Victor's diction here reflects experiences to which we as readers have yet to become privy, experiences that have forced upon him a psychological condition that conceives of the world in terms of adversarial struggle. This is an example of the shrewd linguistic forecasting that we find everywhere in the early chapters of Mary Shelley's revised 1831 text. In this case we are alerted to how much those experiences have warped Victor's notion of reality into a series of antagonistic states. The "palpable enemy," which is here figured in spiritual terms, will become objectified in the Creature that he unleashes upon the world and who becomes dangerous precisely because he is treated as an enemy.