Books and Movies Reviews

Frankenstein Opening Letters

The opening of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein serves several purposes.It not only introduces the main character, but it also sets the overall tone of the story.Beyond that, thefirst section of the book also prepares us for the events that follow.Robert Walton does such through a series of letters he is writing to his sister in England.His letters will introduce us to Dr. Victor Frankenstein, at which point he takes over the narrator's duties through flashback perspective.The content of Walton's letters also gives the reader some insight into his own personality.We learn that he shares some of Victor's earliest scientific attitudes and can thereby draw the conclusion that the two men may, in the end, share similar fates.
Letters one and two are the beginning of the frame tale.Thefirst two pieces introduce attributes of Walton's character that will parallel Victor in several ways.Both men are driven to make contributions for the benefit of mankind.They share a selfless love for science that seems to include a lack of consideration for the consequences of their endeavors.Walton also describes his loneliness, his lack of a friend, which he ironically describes as "…a most severe evil…"
The third letter helps reinforce the physical settings already described to us at this point.It is always depicted as cold and windy; the water is still and icy.The reader almost gets the feeling that this could be the proverbial calm before the storm.The weather is symbolic of the misery and pain that will be felt throughout the novel.The detailed descriptions of the landscape will continue to reinforce feelings of solitude and distress felt by almost every character we encounter.
The fourth installment provides an entrance for Frankenstein, and even a quick glimpse of his monstrous creation.This letter describes the unusual circumstances in which Walton's c