Later in the novel, Frankenstein recalls, “I was, to a great degree, self-taught with regard to my favourite studies… While Frankenstein “desire[s] to divine…the secrets of heaven and earth,” Walton desires to “ascertain the secret of the magnet” (38, 16).
These ambitions to scientifically probe nature are driven by a common thirst for glory. Saville, “I prefer glory to every enticement that wealth place[s] in my path” (17).
The characters of Walton and Frankenstein are almost entirely alike.
Unbeknownst to each other, both men share a strikingly similar childhood. Saville, Walton recounts, “I am self-educated: for the first fourteen years of my life I ran wild on a common and read nothing but our Uncle Thomas’ books of voyages… These volumes were my study day and night” (19, 16). Almost identical, these self educations gave rise to similar curiosities.
In actively “attend[ing] on the man he animates, Walton, unlike Frankenstein, feels emotional attachment: “I begin to love him as a brother; and his constant and deep grief fills me with sympathy and compassion” (29).
Another stark juxtaposition lies at the end of the novel when Walton’s ship is frozen into an ice sheet. Saville a deep concern for the welfare of others: “Be assured that for my own sake, as well as yours, I will not rashly encounter danger,” and “I shall do nothing rashly: you know me sufficiently to confide in my prudence and considerateness whenever the safety of others is committed to my care” (22, 23).
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