A Scrutiny of Frankenstein- Part 2

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This analysis is based on Letter 2 in Frankenstein (Penguin Classics).

R. Walton starts his letter by telling his sister about the progress that he has made with his ship and his crew. Even though he tries to set a more positive mood, there is a feeling of loneliness. It appeals to the reader’s sense of pathos. He says, “I have no friend, Margaret”, meaning he has no one to share his success and failures with. The feeling of satisfaction he gets from being successful is brief.

Psychology says that humans are social animals and that they seek people who are similar to them. The character wants someone who has similar tastes to him. He says, “I have no one near me, gentle and courageous, possessed of  a cultivated as well as a capaciuos mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans”. He is describing his character in someone else. Because he has a sense of exulanasis, he gives up trying to explain how he feels to his sister. He feels as if committing words to paper is a “poor medium for the communication of the feeling”.

In his letter, he gently describes his lieutenant, whom he has great admiration. This man lives a life of existential means as he has traits that are not situational of heavily influenced by his surrounding. He has made his own path despite being “wholly uneducated”.

His letter  becomes more similar to the speech of the modern motivation speaker. Despite his loneliness and sadness, he does is not “wavering in” his “resolution”.

He makes reference to the poem The Rime of the “Ancient Mariner”,  which shows that he is enthusiastic about acquiring knowledge and wisdom from his travels. It is a romanticised view of getting old. He believes he is meant for more. He has a sense of alexithymia, which is the inability to express or define how he feels.

The closing of his letter gives a tone of wistfulness and sadness. He missed his sister. However, he has stoically accepted that he may never see her again. In addition to that, he seems to be preparing her for the worst to happen.

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