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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Victor spends the next day roaming through the valleys near the source of the river Arveiron. He takes great pleasure in the landscape. But the next morning it rains, and there is a thick fog that makes the mountains nearly invisible. Victor nevertheless goes riding to the summit of Montanvert. He goes on to describe the steep path and its short windings, intersected by ravines of snow with stones rolling down them.
By noon he has nearly reached the summit of Montanvert, above which Mont Blanc can be seen. He is relishing the scenery and is in high spirits when he sees the monster approaching him. At once he decides to have a "mortal combat" with him. He is so blinded by his own fury and hatred that he fails to notice the pain and disdain on the monster's face.
Victor hurls a volley of accusations at the monster, addressing him as the "devil." But the monster is calm and merely asks Victor to recall the duty he has towards his creation. The monster assures Victor that he will leave him in peace if he agrees to comply with his "conditions." He also warns him that if his wishes are not fulfilled, he will wreak havoc in the form of death on his creator's family.
He talks about how all of mankind hates him and how he in turn is forced to hate them. He draws a parallel between his situation and that of Milton's Satan. He claims that he has been forced to hate his "creator," just as Lucifer had turned against God. He decides to tell Victor his tale before sunset, and Victor is more than willing to find out if he has killed William and pinned the blame on Justine.
This chapter again focuses on the landscape and Victor's escape into nature. It lessens his grief and proves to be a good diversion for him after all that he has been through. The next morning it is raining in torrents and the mood is rather melancholic. The weather is again symbolic of Victor's circumstances. The fact that he chooses to ascend to the summit shows his courage and determination to overcome the difficulties which may later come his way.
Victor is not allowed any peace of mind. Just as he is beginning to enjoy himself, the monster approaches him. His first reaction is to fight with the monster. This is a strong indication of his rage. The monster, having expected this reaction, is quite calm. He is now in control of the situation. He manages to convince Victor to think about his duty to him and threatens him with dire consequences if he does not comply with his wishes.
The monster has every reason to hate Victor. He claims how he was "benevolent" and "good" but is forced to hate people because they despise him. It may be noted that the monster is quite human as he reflects and interprets his circumstances. The comparison he draws with Milton's Satan is interesting. However, the monster was not guilty of a transgression when Victor rejected him. Indeed, Victor had tried to play God in creating a superhuman creature. And the fact that he abandoned him gave that creature the liberty to despise his creator and to cause him harm.
The monster's plea to be heard is quite genuine. He is in a desperate condition because his very creator rejects him. Like Victor, he has been isolated and lonely. He, too, is entitled to some kind of justice. Victor realizes that, as his creator, he "ought" to make him happy before complaining of his "wickedness."