In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, why was Victor not welcomed by the Irish?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 20 of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein decides that it would be unethical to create a female companion for his monster. He decides to destroy his laboratory and the almost-complete monster and return to his normal life. Not wanting to leave remnants of his experiments where they might be found by locals after he left, he sets out at night in a small skiff (or rowboat) to sink these objects in a deep part of the ocean. A storm rises up and he is blown by accident to the shores of Ireland (to put this in context, the North Channel between Scotland and Ireland is 22 miles wide). When he arrives on the Irish shore, after a terrifying night spent at sea, he is surprised by his hostile welcome: 

"My good friends," said I [Victor], "will you be so kind as to tell me the name of this town, ...?"

"You will know that soon enough," replied a man ... "May be you are come to a place that will not prove much to your taste; but you will not be consulted as to your quarters, I promise you."

I was exceedingly surprised on receiving so rude an answer ... and .. the frowning and angry countenances of his companions. "Why do you answer me so roughly?" I replied; "surely it is not the custom of Englishmen to receive strangers so inhospitably."

"I do not know," said the man, "what the custom of the English may be; but it is the custom of the Irish to hate villains."

We find out in Chapter 21 that the townspeople have just discovered the corpse of a murder victim, and suspect Victor of being the murderer, due to his not being local, his agitation, and the strange manner of his arrival. 

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