Importance of Listening in Frankenstein 

Topics: Narrative, Frankenstein, Arctic Pages: 4 (1391 words) Published: October 28, 2010
In Frankenstein, point of view is an important literary device that brings to light the theme of listening. The novel is written in a framed narrative form, which allows for one central story to be relayed through other characters several times. The reader and Mrs. Saville are the first people who listen to Frankenstein's story through Robert Walton's letters home. Walton listens to Victor's story from Victor, and Frankenstein listens to the monster's story. Each person has a message or warning that they need to relay to the other. They stress the importance that the other person listens as best as possible in order to understand the message they are trying to get across. Frankenstein emphasizes the importance of listening through a series of key characters. 


 Mrs. Saville and the rest of society read Walton's letters, which tell Victor Frankenstein's story. This is the outermost layer of the framed narrative format of the novel. Mrs. Saville is Walton's sister. He begins writing her letters on his mission to the Artic to let her know that he's okay. Walton's initial cause seems to be one that is sincere and truly focused on the world as a whole. But it becomes evident later on in his letter that he is concentrated on a more selfish purpose. Walton is overly confident that his effort will leave him glorified. He says, "Success shall crown my endeavors. Wherefore not? Thus far I have gone, tracing a secure way over the pathless sea, the very stars themselves being witnesses and testimonies of my triumph" (p.17). Then he comes across \Frankenstein and he records Frankenstein's story in his letters home. Frankenstein's story is supposed to communicate a warning to society. While the result of Walton's journey is not yet revealed, it is evident that Frankenstein foresees deep failure, which he must thwart. He says Walton's aspirations are a result of having "drank of the intoxication draft." (p.22). Frankenstein understands the downfall glory can cause to...
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