Are you mad . . . ?
Alphonse Frankenstein had raised exactly the same question with Victor at the beginning of the fifth chapter (III.5.5)
, and the Genevan magistrate seems to have been assured of the matter from his interview at the end of the sixth (III.6.28)
. For readers who by this point in the novel might well have come to the same conclusion, Victor's questioning of Walton's mental stability would venture on the absurd. From the larger perspective of the novel's development, however, the strange echo emphasizes how relative, given the acute isolation in which its three male protagonists have come to exist, have become all grounds of reason and normalcy.