Robert Walton

The letters that Robert Walton writes to his sister frame out the main part of the narrative. When Walton is trapped between ice sheets on his journey of captaining a ship to the North Pole he has the opportunity to pick up Victor. Walton is very upset when Victor dies, because he felt that he was forming a good friendship with the man. The readers "hear" Victor's story through Walton's letter. He is also parallel to Victor in a lot of different ways throughout the story. For example, Walton is also an explorer. He may be discovering things in a different way, but he is still focused on learning something new and coming to a better understanding of life as he knows it. Victor has a strange influence on Walton, as well. During one moment he is working to convince Walton's crew to stay the course no matter what might happen in their exploration. In the next moment, he is serving as an example of the problems that can come about when scientific ambition is not coupled with care.

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