Frankenstein: The Letters and Chapters 1 & 2
Uploaded by angel284_uk on Feb 18, 2002
A first impression of Walton would be to say that he is extremely ambitious. He desires to go to the North Pole to “accomplish some great purpose”. He has his own theories on what should be there, and will not rest until he has proved them. This is somewhat a ‘Godlike’ ambition, in that he wishes to be praised for discovering something new which will benefit everyone else in the world. The language used is also very much like Old Testament, Biblical; “Heaven shower down blessings on you”. The image of Walton being ‘Godlike’ is enhanced by this.
However, he is disrespectful of his family, as he goes against his fathers “dying injunction”, which had “forbidden” him from embarking on a “seafaring life”. He seems to be very egocentric, and not aware of anyone else or their feelings. He is deliberately disobeying his father to pursue a personal ambition. He is leaving his sister in England, and at the end of each letter he writes that he may not see her again, “Farewell my dear, excellent Margaret”, “Remember me with affection, should you never hear from me again”. Each time she receives a letter from him, she will be hopeful of his return and safety, and then he writes “Shall I meet you again?”. This is selfish of him, as it will worry her even more about his expedition. Again this ‘Godlike’ theme reoccurs as he is doing what he wants to do.
Having only been educated about this passion through his own reading, he cannot really be sure of what he will discover once he reaches his destination. His beliefs that “snow and frost are banished” from the North Pole seem as eccentric as believing that the earth is flat. But of course he doesn’t see it this way, he needs to prove his own theory. After failing at being a poet he doesn’t want to fail as a scientist and explorer either. He is confident in his beliefs and will stop at nothing, not even employment as an “under-mate in a Greenland Whaler”, to get where he wants to be, and hopefully find what he wants to discover.
In the second letter, Walton writes about his desire for a friend. As he has left all his acquaintances in England, he no longer has anyone to convey theories and ideas to, “participate” in his “joy”, or comfort him in...