beautiful in nature . . . sublime . . . of man
At this point it is clear that it is Clerval, "the image of [Victor's] former self" (III:2:3
) who retains this responsiveness to his natural surroundings. This is exemplified in the previous chapter with his enthusiastic reaction to the Rhine valley (III:1:19
). His citing of both the beautiful and the sublime in this sentence may point the reader less to Victor—who sees himself no longer able to respond fully to either—than to a sense of inclusiveness, at once aesthetic and intellectual, that Mary Shelley seems to be associating with a fully realized human being.