It is actually a major lightning and thunderstorm that first convinces Victor to turn away from the pseudo-science that had so electrified him before (pun intended). He says,
As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited it the next morning, we found the tree shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribbons of wood. I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed.
It is after this storm that Victor completely gives up his study of science and turns to math and other subjects that he feels have more firm foundations. Then, once Victor goes to college in Ingolstadt, Professor Krempe embarrasses him with the result of his aborted studies. As a result, Victor begins to compare the "chimeras of boundless...
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