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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 1548 words

What are the parallels, or lack of parallels, between Walton's and Victor's experiences and motivation; strengths and flaws?

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EXTENDED ENGLISH x 1 What are the parallels, or lack of parallels, between Walton's and Victor's experiences and motivation; strengths and flaws? (1 1/2 - 2 pages) In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, there are many comparisons and parallels between the two characters, Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein, as well as some differences. The experiences they both have, give the reader an insight into what their strengths and flaws are as a character, and we learn about their similar motivations and determination to achieve their goals. Both Walton and Frankenstein are curious people and value the same things, such as education, companionship and the thirst for more knowledge than the average person. But, at the same time, Walton and Victor have different characteristics and personal strengths which help to enforce to the reader, that they are still separate and unique characters. Throughout Frankenstein, we notice many similarities between Walton and Frankenstein. Their personalities are much the same, in that they are both determined, curious and have high expectations of themselves. They have a constant seek for knowledge and wisdom and want to know and achieve more than the average person.


Their differences probably started because of their youth and how they were brought up in different ways. While Frankenstein had a very loving and educated childhood, surrounded by many scientists and literature writers, Walton lived a harder life and self-educated himself. Because of this, Walton is constantly putting himself down and exaggerating his faults 'Now I am twenty-eight and am in reality more illiterate than many schoolboys of fifteen.' Walton is exaggerating this statement, because he wants his sister to feel sympathy for him. Where as Frankenstein tells his faults as they are, and is proud of his childhood, because it was the perfect romantic youth, and therefore emphasises that. There is a significant difference between Walton and Frankenstein, and how they treat others, when they are adults. Even though it was Frankenstein that experienced a childhood filled with love and warmth, it is he who does not take care or nurture someone in need. Instead of showing friendliness towards the monster, Frankenstein abandons it and therefore the monster has to learn experiences by itself, and confuses itself between what things are good and what is bad.


thought of consequences, own destruction, could have accepted and educated monster.........Walton conducted voyage to the North Pole, suffered loneliness, fatigue, hunger and froze, no food, warmth, companionship, suffered 'I had rather die than return shamefully - my purpose unfulfilled'....reader's sympathy decreases for both characters because it was their choice * Goals were for the sake of personal glory, associated with their achievements... '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 place in my path' 'tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of a man' (Walton)..'wealth is an inferior object, but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death' (Victor) * Companionship - female friends Differences * Victor knows how to achieve his goal; Walton does not * Walton puts himself down * Walton realizes his mistake, turns back before reaching artic, chooses community instead of personal conquest - learns from Victors mistakes, and that it is better to make choices concerning everyone rather than himself Laura Stevenson Yr 11 ENGLISH x 1 Mrs. Meenahan 29/2/2004

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