What were the conditions that greeted Victor upon his arrival in Geneva after his illness in Ingolstadt?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mind-numbing is a word that sums up the situation that Victor returns to after years at the university, a long-term illness, and his creation of the monster.  Before he leaves for his hometown, he is in high spirits after his nature "exploration" with Henry and Elizabeth's letter about how well the family is doing, but then he returns to his apartment in Ingolstadt to find a letter from his "affectionate and afflicted father" which bears the incomprehensible news that little William was senselessly murdered.  In addition to that, Alphonse writes that Elizabeth in is low spirits, believing that she is partly to blame for William's death.

In true Gothis fashion, when Victor actually makes it to Switzerland to see his family for the first time after William's death, the weather mirrors his emotions.  In his narrative, Victor tells Walton that on that night

"the thunder ceased; but the rain still continued, and the scene was enveloped in an impenetrable darkness" (63 in the Holt, Rinehart, Winston version).

Like the darkness, Victor can see no way out of the horrific situation in which he finds himself.

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