The strained identification between Victor Frankenstein’s creature and the Arabian Safie is the crux of Frankenstein’s version of sympathy. The creature embodies an unrecognizable difference that Shelley’s novelistic model of sympathy seeks to accommodate through acts of vicarious narration, and his telling of Safie’s story and transcription of her letters are not only the structural center of the novel’s narrative levels but also the conceptual core of Shelley’s reformulation of sympathy. Shelley explicitly puts forth the genre of the novel as compensation for the impossibility of sympathetic experience. Throughout the novel, transitions between letters and retrospective narration as well as moments of narrative transcription and transmission are consistently marked by experiences of sympathy. The shifts in perspective around which Adam Smith centers his definition sympathy in Theory of Moral Sentiments become, in Shelley’s version of novelistic sympathy, acts of narrative framing and novel-writing that attempt to overcome difference that defies classification.