Question 3 (Multiple Choice Worth 5 points)
Frankenstein Chapter 2, Excerpt
By Mary Shelley
Victor Frankenstein recounts the influences that lead to his great experiment:
When I was thirteen years of age we all went on a party of pleasure to the baths near Thonon; the inclemency of the weather obliged us to remain a day confined to the inn. In this house I chanced to find a volume of the works of Cornelius Agrippa. I opened it with apathy; the theory which he attempts to demonstrate and the wonderful facts which he relates soon changed this feeling into enthusiasm. A new light seemed to dawn upon my mind, and bounding with joy, I communicated my discovery to my father. My father looked carelessly at the title page of my book and said, “Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash.”
If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded and that a modern system of science had been introduced which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical, under such circumstances I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies. It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin. But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents, and I continued to read with the greatest avidity.
Read this excerpt from the text:
It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin.
What does the author mean by the “fatal impulse” he describes in this line?
[removed] Something happened that set terrible things in motion.
[removed] Someone checked his medical history and found bad news.
[removed] Somewhere in his youth he had a near-death experience.
[removed] Sometime in the future he plans to become famous.