Parallels among Characters

This is the second time I have read this novel and what jarred me reading it the second time around are the beginning letters that Walton is writing to his sister. In a lot of ways, Walton’s wants and desires parallels with not only Frankenstein’s, but with Frankenstein’s monster (which comes in later sections).

Walton longs for knowledge; he is trying to achieve the seemingly impossible task of trying to reach the North Pole. He has been working towards his goal of reaching the North Pole for six years and he is longing to make a difference in the world, “And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path”,(17). Frankenstein shares these same ambitions for wanting to make a great discovery that will give his name a lifelong legacy. Once Frankenstein got the idea in his head that he wanted to discover the secret of life, he became obsessed and determined to achieve this goal. Walton reveals that he has been working six years just to get to the point where he could begin his voyage to the North Pole. Similarly, Frankenstein had the same passion to achieve his scientific goal of finding the scientific explanation to life and death. He locked himself in his room and worked endlessly day in and day out, “The summer months passed while I was thus engaged, heart and soul, in one pursuit”, (56).

Walton’s story also parallels the monster, as readers learn later. Walton expresses a longing for a friend or companion when writing to his sister, “I have no friend, Margaret; when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate in  my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavor to sustain me in dejection”, (19). He is a lonely man that has spent his time trying to learn and achieve his goal of going to the North Pole. Frankenstein’s creature feels the same after he is rejected by his creator.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Parallels among Characters

  1. Josh Ambrose says:

    So do you think Walton’s goal and character is as horrific as Frankenstein’s? Then again, do you think Frankenstein deserves his ill-repute? What separates the two men’s quests? Anything? Is Shelley trying to say something about quests and obsessive hard work–or is she just itching for an excuse to tell a tall tale?

    I think you’re absolutely right to link the three characters. I’m joining you in pondering what to make of those similarities!

  2. Ashley Parker says:

    I also talked about Frankenstein and Walton’s similarities. But I also think it’s interesting how they differ. At the end, Walton, decides not to continue his journey to the north pole, and thus gain glory while Frankenstein risks everything to do so. Maybe because Walton shares the same loneliness, like the monster, and find a friend in Frankenstein, that he realizes that some things (like friendship and family) are more important that glory?

  3. Pingback: Frankenstein more evil than Walton? | Blip Bloop Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *