After Justine's execution, Victor is overwhelmed with grief. He knows that he has caused not only Justine's death but also William's because he created the Monster. In true Romantic fashion, Shelley sends Victor into nature to be comforted. He travels alone to the village of Chamounix near Mont Blanc. While there, he decides to ascend Montanvert which features a magnificent glacier. As he beholds the majesty of the glacier, he exclaims:
"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" (Chapter 10).
As Victor finishes his exclamation, the "figure of a man"--the Monster--appears. Shortly after this, the book's point of view switches to the Monster's so that he can relate his whereabouts for the past several years.