Victor develops a consuming interest in the structure of the human frame: he longs to determine what animates it, what constitutes the "principle of life." Seized by a "supernatural enthusiasm," he begins to explore life by studying its inevitable counterpart: death. He rapidly verses himself in the rudiments of anatomy, and begins pillaging graveyards for specimens to use in his dissections. Victor discovers the secret of how to generate life through a sudden epiphany. He does not, however, share the content of this revelation with Walton (and, by extension, with the reader), because his own knowledge resulted in misery and destruction.