A Scrutiny of Frankenstein- Part 1

This essay is an analysis of Letter 1 which is a letter written by R. Walton. Whom, for now, is a stranger to me.

The letter starts on a positive mood. It sets a tone of enthusiasm, hope and determinism. It is an odyssey, where he describes his travels to his sister. The positive tone may be to reassure her that everything is going well and that she should not worry. The character describes “cold northern breeze” which gives him a feeling of “delight”.  This imagery gives emphasis about his excitement since cold weather is usually associated with depression.

The character has found inspiration and a new outlook on life. He mentions that “nothing contributes so much to tranquillise the mind as a steady purpose”. The phrase reminds me of what macroeconomics teaches us. How the people who have been unemployed for a long time fall into a deep depression because they have no sense of purpose. The letter becomes a form of inspiration in this case. It shows how having a new perspective and motivation can positively affect a person.

As the letter continues, we recognise a form of rebellion in the character. He does the opposite of his father’s wishes when he embarks on his voyage. His “father’s dying injunction had forbidden” his uncle “to allow” him “to embark in a seafaring life”. Moreover, the character displays an undeniable form of curiosity. He shows this by showing a pursuit of knowledge that seems unparalleled. He learns everything, maths, science, medicine. There is also a longing for recognition. In the letter, we see that he wants to “obtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homer and Shakespeare are consecrated”. He is ambitious.

The character also shows a stoic outlook. He says, to his sister, “If I succeed, many, many months, perhaps years, will pass before you and I meet. If I fail, you will see me again soon, or never”. He is content to take risks even if he does not know the outcome of this.

Letter 1 of Frankenstein offers a lot of insight into life. After a lot of scrutiny, it is even relatable. We have a lot to learn from R. Walton.



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