What does Victor say when he is ascending the mountain in Frankenstein?

In Frankenstein, when Victor is ascending the mountain, he asks the "wandering spirits" to either allow him the "faint happiness" he is feeling or to take him "away from the joys of life." Victor is full of joy now that he's ascended the mountain, but that joy will soon turn to horror when he's confronted by the creature.

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Victor Frankenstein has been in a despondent mood of late and no wonder. The hideous creature that he himself created and unleashed upon an unsuspecting world has recently murdered William, the scientist's brother. If that weren't bad enough, Victor's faithful servant Justine was wrongly executed for the murder.

Desperately needing to get away from it all, Frankenstein decamps to the family home of Belrive, beautifully situated amidst breathtaking Alpine scenery. Just the place for Victor to restore his fraught psychological condition, one might think.

During his stay, Victor heads off to climb Montanvert in the hope of reviving his flagging spirits. At first, all goes well. Victor's truly enraptured by the beauties of nature he observes all around him. And when he finally reaches the summit, his heart is filled with joy, so much so that he even starts getting a little poetic—indeed even rhapsodic—at the majestic sight before him:

Wandering spirits, if indeed ye wander, and do not rest in your narrow beds, allow me this faint happiness, or take me, as your companion, away from the joys of life.

Frankenstein is clearly inspired, as so many others have been before him—notably poets—by the sublime wonders of nature.

Unfortunately for him, however, his joy isn't set to last. Before long, Victor's enjoyment of nature is rudely shattered by the unwelcome appearance of the monster, whose ugliness contrasts sharply with the beauties of the natural environment.

No longer in a poetic mood, Frankenstein greets the monster with deep hostility, calling him a "devil" and a "vile insect."

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

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