the shadow of a human being
Although this phrase is meant to underscore the precarious state of Victor's physical health, it resonates within a psychological and moral construction as well, once again reminding us of how like the state of his Creature Victor's has become. The Creature functions as a shadow, not just in the modern sense of trailing Victor wherever he goes, but also in his incapacity ever to assume a full human dimension. Victor, in his isolation and his chronic sense of undiscriminating guilt, has also forsaken that dimension. In the late chapters of the novel Victor's physical condition is, as here, a measure of his psychic state.