Robert Walton’s Thirst for Knowledge in Mary Shelley´s Frankenstein Essay

Robert Walton’s Thirst for Knowledge in Mary Shelley´s Frankenstein Essay

Length: 1244 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was written with the theme of the desire for knowledge at the heart of the book. Many of the character in the book are searching for knowledge, whether it is the knowledge of how to break the cycle of life, or the ability to read and understand, or even knowing what is at the North Pole. Robert Walton is one of the characters that falls victim to this thirst for knowledge. Robert Walton’s search for knowledge in Frankenstein leads him to not only discover the perils that come from his hunt for knowledge, but also learns a lesson about his own limits.
Robert Walton begins the book by writing to his sister and telling her about his voyage to the North Pole, she was afraid for him to leave because she didn’t want him to be in any danger. He is writing these letters to his sister and describing the ways that he feels about the exhibition to the North Pole, from the way that he is writing to her, it is obvious that he is enticed and seduced by the idea of learning more about the North Pole. He says, “I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling?” (1). The North Pole feels him with tantalizing feelings of the unknown that fuel his urge to continue his mission to explore and gain all of the knowledge about it. Walton continues his voyage north and writing to his sister, where he informs her that His ship had been encased in ice the night before so they had not been able to move and then the next morning he finds a crew member talking to a man off of the side of their ship that was stuck on a chunk of ice floating in the ocean. This man was emaciated and covered in dirt and filth. He briefly talked to Walton about a “demon...


... middle of paper ...


...veryone involved and that loves Walton, he is not just putting his life in danger, he is also putting other peoples lives in danger and also causing emotional distress to the people that love him, like his sister. He learned of the perils that can come from continuing his search for knowledge, but the real lesson he learned from Frankenstein’s monster is that this conquest to acquire the knowledge of the North Pole was not worth the possible perils that could come from it. He learns that he has limits when it comes to the search; he was not willing to go against his crew’s command that they go back if they were released from the ice, and this shows that he has learned a lesson about his own limits. In the end, the message to take away from this is not to go searching for knowledge and expect everything to go perfectly and there be no perils that could come from it.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Knowledge By Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein, The Monster, And Robert Walton

- In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Shelley shows that the acquisition of knowledge can be dangerous through the characters of Victor Frankenstein, the Monster, and Robert Walton. Knowledge is a good thing to a certain extent but it can consume a person’s life and have negative affects. The unlimited quest for knowledge is a negative flaw in some humans. When Victor is a young boy, he becomes interested in science and learning after experiencing a lighting strike (Shelley 23). Years later, Victor attends college in Ingolstadt....   [tags: Frankenstein, Learning, Mary Shelley]

Better Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay

- Three of the main characters in Mary Shelley 's 1818 novel Frankenstein have commonalities that may not be immediately recognized but are significant in terms of theme. Robert Walton, a man who sets out to seek new land, Victor Frankenstein, a man who sets out to create new life, and the Creature, who sets out to become accepted, are all different in their own ways but tragically the same. Though the first use of the word "isolation" did not occur until 1833 (Merriam-Webster), Frankenstein is replete with instances in which the three central characters must confront their alienation from others....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, James Whale]

Better Essays
800 words (2.3 pages)

Ambition By Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay example

- Ambition can lead to disaster As a young writer, at just the age of 18 years old, Mary Shelley was able to become a gothic novel specialist. She was able to create a story that has an unbelievable amount of depth behind all of the events that happen between the characters. Her writing stays relevant in today’s society due to her focus on the creation of artificial life. Many of the characters in the novel Frankenstein have a deep love and desire for new discoveries. The characters like Walton, the Creature and Victor have the desire for ambition which they all become overly consumed in their works and end up in destructive situations....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Gothic fiction, Novel]

Better Essays
1362 words (3.9 pages)

The Gothic Novel Of Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein Essay

- Struggles with our inner faults are pure representations of who we are and this can be reflected by society’s emotionally scarred outcasts. The gothic novel Frankenstein explores the instability that manifests when people indulge in a greed for knowledge and satisfaction that hints at the relatable characteristic of an appetite for self-assurance in society. In the gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley employs a parallel to reflect the monster that is present within people and the society they contribute towards....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Novel, Gothic fiction]

Better Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

Walton’s Letters in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Essay

- Walton’s Letters in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein ‘Frankenstein’ is a gothic, science fiction novel written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. It was written in Switzerland in 1816 and London in 1816-1817. The novel begins with a series of letters from the explorer Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret Saville. The entirety of ‘Frankenstein’ is contained within Robert Walton’s letters, which record the narratives of both Frankenstein and the monster. Walton’s letters act like a framing device for Victor’s narrative....   [tags: Mary Shelley Frankenstein Essays]

Better Essays
819 words (2.3 pages)

Three Tragic Heroes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay example

- In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and Frankenstein’s Creation reach similar conclusions humanity by seafaring to the North Pole, delving into the dark depths of science, and observing the rejecting nature of humans. The three tragic heroes Walton, Frankenstein and the Creation are all character doubles in their initial enthusiasm for knowledge, inner dualist personalities, religiously glorified personal goals, possessive relationships and negative effects of gaining knowledge....   [tags: Frankenstein 2014]

Better Essays
2100 words (6 pages)

The Pursuit of Technology in Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein". Essay

- The Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth, and early nineteenth century created a significant advance in technology. Mary Shelly’s life and literature were influenced by this technological turning point. Thirst of knowledge is a dominant theme in Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein”, and the driving force behind continuous technological developments. Human Beings are completely dependent on Modern technology and it would be difficult to survive without it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a growing reality....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Better Essays
1963 words (5.6 pages)

Self-discovery, Destruction, and Preservation in Frankenstein Essay

- Self-discovery, Destruction, and Preservation in Frankenstein       Mary Shelley's Frankenstein explores the downfall of certain human characteristics, set to the backdrop of creation, destruction, and preservation. The subtitle denoted by Shelly herself supports this idea, by relating the fact that the title can be viewed as either Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. One scholar, Marilyn Butler, also maintains this by noting, "It can be a late version of the Faust Myth"(302). Shelly uses the story of the main character, Victor Frankenstein, to produce the concept of a dooming human characteristic of which Frankenstein states, "I have ....   [tags: Frankenstein essays]

Better Essays
1647 words (4.7 pages)

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein "Frankenstein" the novel written by Mary Shelly was first published in 1818. Shelly was the only daughter of the philosopher William Godwin and his wife Mary Wollstonecraft, the radical feminist writer. Unfortunately Shelly's mother died almost immediately and Shelly was brought up by her father and his second wife. Although "Frankenstein" was published in 1818, Shelly first wrote "Frankenstein" in 1816 visiting Lord Byron on the shores of Geneva with her husband....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1620 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Frankenstein

- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus can be interpreted as a chilling warning of the dangers of scientific overreaching and ambition. Mary Shelley was already aware of the works of scientists such as Erasmus Darwin and was being influenced by writers such as Byron when, at “the age of nineteen, she achieved the quietly astonishing feat of looking beyond them and creating a lasting symbol of the perils of scientific Prometheanism” (Joseph, 1998, p, xiii). The fact that Shelley parallels her story of Frankenstein with the myth of Prometheus is interesting and gives an immediate insight into the extent of criticism she bestows on Victor Frankenstein’s scientific ambition....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Mary Shelley]

Better Essays
1727 words (4.9 pages)