Frankenstein’s Foil Characters: Walton and the Creature
Robert Walton and the Creature both contribute much to Victor Frankenstein’s character. They are both strong foil characters in the novel. A foil character is a minor character whose scenario or actions parallel those of a significant character, and by contrast clarifies specific components of the major character. Since Walton contributes that both parallels and contrasts to Victor’s in numerous methods, it appears that Robert Walton is the more effective foil for Victor Frankenstein.
Walton’s letters to his sis at the start of the story foreshadow the sensations and motivations that Frankenstein experiences when he first discovers the “the cause of generation and life.” Both Walton and Frankenstein are adventures and compulsive with knowledge. The two make every effort to be the first male to do or see something. Walton is going on a trip and is feeling excited about being on the brink of discovering new land, passages, powers, and magnificence.
His interest in “finding the marvelous power which brings in the needle and controls a thousand celestial observations” and his “ardent interest to tread a land never prior to inscribed by the foot of guy” parallel the sensations of Frankenstein’s fascination with the mystery of the development of life. This exact same enthusiasm is expressed in this quote by Frankenstein; “the astonishment which I had at first experienced on this discovery quickly gave location to delight and rapture.” The unsafe journey Walton embarks on is likewise a metaphor for the dangerous intellectual journey of Frankenstein’s. It is the magnificent which rushes me out of the typical pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I will explore” exclaims Walton.
In the exact same sense once Frankenstein discovers the capability to bestow life he “bore onwards, like a cyclone, in the very first interest of success.” Towards the end of the story Walton and describes his risky voyage in a letter to his sister saying, “I am surrounded by mountains of ice which admit of no escape and threaten every moment to squash my vessel.Frankenstein’s journey ended the very same method, “all voluntary idea was engulfed and lost” and “my hopes were all of a sudden snuffed out, and I lost all trace of him more utterly than I had actually ever done prior to.” Both males’s journeys were similar in aspiration and also in failure.
The feeling of solitude and yearning for a friendship links Walton, Frankenstein and the Creature together. Walton composes in one letter, “I want the company of a guy who might sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine … I bitterly feel the desire of a friend. ‘Frankenstein hears the same desperate plea for relationship from the Creature when he states “all over I see happiness, from which I alone am irrevocably omitted. I was kindhearted and good; anguish made me a fiend. Make me delighted, and I will again be virtuous.” Sadly, Frankenstein never uses the very same friendship to the animal as he does to Walton. Nevertheless, Frankenstein did get a taste of the lonely friendless torment felt by Walton and the creature when he was sent to prison for the murder of Clerval.
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Walton is likewise a foil for Frankenstein when he and his crew discover Frankenstein in such bad shape and yet the look after him so tenderly. “I never ever saw a guy in so wretched a condition.” Walton and his guys carried him aboard, rubbed him down, wrapped him in blankets and fed him. Contrast this to Frankenstein’s treatment of the creature. Instead of compassion or compassion Frankenstein calls the creature a “scalawag,” “devil” and “the animal.” When the animal returns he is met Frankenstein’s “be gone! Walton demonstrates generosity and understanding. He listens to Frankenstein’s story with perseverance and without judgement, yet Frankenstein never tries to care for or help the animal he deserted from the moment he saw the animal come to life. Another contrasting point is the outcome of the two guys’s journey. Frankenstein’s exploration causes the deaths of his closest friends and eventually his own death and the self damage of the creature.
Walton’s journey, although ending in failure, respects his men’s dreams to return to England. Although dissatisfied, he chooses abandon his own dream of discovery for the sake of the lives of his guys,” I can not lead them reluctantly to risk, I must return. Both foils, Walton and the animal, were both extremely essential to the story. Walton’s character plainly revealed the styles that Mary Shelly was trying to convey in the novel. Among the strongest themes exposed by Walton’s character was that the magnificence that originates from ambition and discovery is not greater than the lives it touches.