Books and Movies Reviews

Frankenstein

In Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is rescued from the ocean by Captain Robert Walton and his crew. Walton was a lonely man writing to his sister about how lonely he feels out in the ocean and that he would really like to have a friend. Walton becomes deeply intrigued by Frankenstein’s story and the creature that he created. Walton seems very happy to give Frankenstein his undivided attention because he has made a new friend. Why is Frankenstein telling Walton the story, why is such a miserable man such that Frankenstein is, so open to become Friends with Walton?
At the end of the book, when Frankenstein finishes his story, he asks Walton to kill the monster if he should ever see him again, a task which Frankenstein could not complete himself. “And do I dare to ask of you to undertake my pilgrimage, to endure the hardships that I have undergone? No; I am not so selfish. Yet, when I am dead, if he should appear; if the ministers of vengeance should conduct him to you, swear that he shall not live – swear that he shall not triumph over my accumulated woes and survive to add to the list of his dark crimes,”(p.202). Frankenstein says that he is not selfish, but how would he expect Walton to do something that he could not accomplish in several years? By specifically mentioning that he is not selfish, perhaps means that he actually does have a selfish side to himself.
Victor uses several techniques to try to persuade Walton into feeling sorry for him and to trying to get him to ultimately to get revenge against the monster for him. One method that Frankenstein uses, is guilt. He tries to make everyone around him, including Walton, feel sorry for him. “Nothing is more painful to the human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear. Justin died; she res