After Justine's death, Victor feels deprived of hope, and he is crushed by the "weight of despair" on his heart. He cannot sleep, he feels that all his hopes for life have been "blasted," and he is overcome by remorse and guilt. Victor finds no comfort in others and thus seeks solitude. It is "about this time [that the family] retired to [its] house in Belrive," another town in Switzerland, and Victor is comforted by the change in scenery and circumstance. In this place, he can stay out on the water until much later than he could in Geneva, and he feels "free." He finds himself tempted to plunge into the lake and take his own life, but his love for Elizabeth as well as the thought of his father's suffering the loss of another son stops him. However, he is often overwhelmed by negativity. He says,
It was during an access of this kind that I suddenly left my home, and bending my steps towards the near Alpine valleys, sought in the magnificence, the eternity of such scenes, to forget myself and my ephemeral, because human, sorrows. My wanderings were directed towards the valley of Chamounix. I had visited it frequently during my boyhood. Six years had passed since then . . .
It is at this point that he travels to Chamounix, a valley near Mont Blanc, in France. The "magnificent and astonishing character" of this region affects him deeply, and he is alive to the "sublime" beauty of the Alps. He says that a "tingling long-lost sense of pleasure often came across [him] during this journey." Though this feeling often takes turns with despair, Victor finds himself lulled by the sound of the Arve, and he drops into sleep.