M. Waldman, Victor's professor, tells him that all of the books he has been reading and researching are imaginary. He says, "they know that metals can't be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera."
The use of the word "chimera"
emphasizes the professor's belief in ancient alchemy.
inspires Victor to reexamine the modern scientific philosophers.
underscores the need for further scientific study and experimentation.
subconsciously suggests to Victor a way forward with his work.