Comparing Walton and Victor

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Compare the characters of Victor and Walton as Shelley presents them in the early parts of the novel. What similarities are there between the characters and quests? In the early chapters of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley the character of Walton is introduced through a series of letters he is writing to his sister back in London (the whole novel is an epistolary structure) as he is on a voyage to the North Pole in hope of fulfilling his goal of a breakthrough scientific discovery and “discovering some of nature’s most profound secrets”. Walton is full of hope and scientific curiosity and a passionate determination that he will achieve his goals “I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man”; he wants to set himself apart from other scientists and discover something altogether new, something that will bring him fame and fortune and ensure that he is remembered forever- he is on a journey that-he learns later in the novel-may not turn out to be the success that he thought it was, and his “ardent curiosity” may be his downfall in the end. His loneliness (“I feel the bitter want of a friend”) is subsided when a man “on the brink of destruction” is brought upon the ship, half dead and “wretched”. The man they bring on board-Frankenstein- bears a lot of similarities to Walton, from their aspirations and complete obsession to discover the undiscovered. There is however, one major difference between these 2 characters-Frankenstein has already been in Walton’s shoes and has already experienced the consequences of his endeavours-and they were not pleasant, as he relays the story to Walton, warning him how he has “suffered great and unparalled misfortunes” through his “seeking of knowledge and wisdom” and seeing Walton do the same, he warns him of the dangers of knowledge and tells of his story-his parents, his wonderful childhood, his thirst for knowledge and,...
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