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Letters Notes from Frankenstein

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Frankenstein Letters

December 11th, 17--: Robert Walton writes to his sister, Mrs. Margaret Saville, about his excitement at the prospect of his upcoming voyage to the North Pole. Knowledge and glory are the goals of his expedition. He outlines his plan to leave St. Petersburg, Russia for Archangel. Once there, he will hire a ship and crew and leave for the north in June.

Topic Tracking: Glory 1
Topic Tracking: Nature 1

March 28th, 17--: In Archangel, Walton finds a ship and gathers men to sail with him. While he is close to starting out for his dream, he realizes that he is missing something. He writes to his sister:

"I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection." Letter 2, pg. 4

Although Walton is lonely, he is still passionate about his voyage.

Topic Tracking: Glory 2
Topic Tracking: Friendship 1

July 7th, 17--: Walton sails out and feels optimistic about the success of his journey because all incidents up to that point had been handled with relative ease. In his mind, success seems definite.

Topic Tracking: Glory 3

August 5th, 17--: Walton explains that his letters will become a record of his conversations with Victor Frankenstein, the Swiss man Walton's crew rescued from the frozen Arctic waters a week prior. When the ship became iced in, the crew witnessed a large man in the distance riding a dogsled across the frozen ocean. Some time later, Frankenstein appeared and they brought him aboard the ship. Frankenstein, sick and weakened by the cold, stayed on the ship while Walton nursed him. Walton writes that Frankenstein seems broken by grief and interested only in the giant man who traveled past the ship. Walton is curious about Frankenstein and believes that if the men had met before Frankenstein was broken down, they would have been great friends, the kind of friend Walton longs for in his earlier letter.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 2

August 13th, 17--: Walton talks to Frankenstein about his voyage to the North Pole. He explains his desire to see and explore the North Pole at any cost, even the cost of human life. Frankenstein seems dismayed to hear of Walton's reckless ambition and it upsets him so much that Walton drops the subject. After a while, Frankenstein asks Walton about his life, and Walton mentions the lack of any close friend to share his ups and downs. In agreement, Frankenstein says, "'we are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves -- such a friend ought to be -- do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.'" Letter 4, pg. 14 Although he agrees that friendship is an important part of life and happiness, Frankenstein says that he can form no such ties because he has lost everyone he cares about and can't start over. Their conversation ends, but Walton finds Frankenstein to be an incredible person because despite his obvious loss and sadness, Frankenstein still seems to appreciate the natural beauty of the world around him.

Topic Tracking: Glory 4
Topic Tracking: Friendship 3
Topic Tracking: Nature 2

August 19th, 17--: Frankenstein decides to tell Walton his story in the hopes that he can learn some lesson from the mistakes that have led to Frankenstein's ruin.

Topic Tracking: Glory 5

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