Analyse the Character of Robert Walton

Topics: North Pole, Life, Affection Pages: 3 (1087 words) Published: November 1, 2010
Analyse the character of Robert Walton
The first character we are introduced to in the novel is Robert Walton. We know this because there are a series of letters from him to his sister Margret Saville concerning his whereabouts. From reading the four letters it is apparent to the reader that Walton is an ambitious and caring man. He is articulate and eloquent especially when writing about his voyage. To the reader he appears to be very reflective in that he expresses his concern about how long it will be before he meets his sister again, this is apparent throughout all four letters and each letter is concluded in an affectionate and emotional tone. Walton’s writings entice the reader into his world. His use of language paints an image so that the reader can almost feel as though they are part of the landscape, this is shown when Walton describes his surroundings as he walks the streets of St Petersburgh as a “foretaste of those icy climes”; the effect of this quote is that the reader can almost feel the chilling temperatures of an icy December day in St Petersburgh. Walton has clearly had an ambition since childhood of sailing to the North Pole. He has spent a considerable amount of time as a young boy reading of voyages from the past and he has been harbouring an ambition to sail to an undiscovered part of the world ever since. We know this because he articulates in the first letter of his passion yet regret at discovering his father prevented him from accompanying his uncle on an expedition, this is clearly identified when he writes “my father’s dying injunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embark in a seafaring life.” Here Walton is expressing his disappointment when he discovered his father’s dying wish and as a result he changed direction and rather than pursue a life of adventure he chose the safe option and became a poet. This left the reader feeling a slight resentment towards Walton’s father. Having being a poet for over six years, Walton...
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