Victor’s father, Alphonse writes to Victor telling him to return home
immediately as William has been murdered. He had been strangled and the locket that Elizabeth had given William of their mother, was missing.
When Victor arrives at the city gates, they are closed, and he has to wait
outside until they re-open at dawn. He realizes that it is six years since he was last home, and two years since the creation of his monster.
There is a tremendous storm, and suddenly Victor glimpses the monster
between flashes of lightning. Victor suspects immediately that the monster has had something to do with William’s murder.
Suddenly the nightmare returns to Victor – he cannot reveal his suspicions regarding William’s murderer without exposing his scientific work. When finally Victor arrives at his home, he learns that Justine is accused of the murder. She was found with the missing locket in her pocket, although she cannot say how it got there. Victor hopes that the justice system will set free the innocent Justine.
Shelley takes us right back into the Gothic world which is introduced with
the lightning storm, “A flash of lightning illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly
informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy daemon to whom I had given life.” The reader is now aware that lightning is a recurring theme in this story.
It reinforces the suggestion that the monster was brought into being by the use of electricity – a force of evil.
Up to this point, the monster had been at the back of Victor’s mind, and was
slowly fading away, but in this dramatic fashion, it is brought back to the surface again.
Victor instantly realizes that the monster is responsible for the murder of his brother, but he faces a dilemma that he cannot reveal this knowledge without there being enquiry into how the creation was brought about. Victor’s only hope is that justice will be done as regards Justine.
Scholars have suggested that Shelley has taken the opportunity to make a
remark concerning the English judicial system at that time. She suggests that justice was only served for the rich, and that the poor suffered greatly under it.