Suddenly a heavy storm of rain descended
Mary Shelley's readers might easily construe the storm as merely providing a conventional Gothic atmosphere in which to wrap the suspense of this long-awaited evening. But the storm functions more specifically as a leitmotif associated with the sublime power of nature, of forces beyond human control, and of the Creature. There actually are only two such Gothic storms in Frankenstein
. The first was also set in the environs of Lake Geneva and occured as Victor, returning from Ingolstadt, sought out the scene of his brother William's death at Plainpalais. There in a brilliant flash of lightning he encountered the form of his Creature for the first time since the night of its creation. That scene in the sixth chapter in the first volume (I:6:20
) thus operates as a symmetrical counterpart to this other storm of the sixth chapter of the third volume, anticipating the reemergence of the Creature into Victor's domestic idyll.