Das Eismeer by Caspar David Friedrich
The painting above depicts a fate that Walden fears but is willing to face, risking the lives of his crew, in order to fulfill his all-consuming pursuit of fame's immortality.
10/19/2018 11:47:47 am
Captain walton and his journey to the artic was the start to everything in this novel. The stranger and his creation stood upon the captain Waltons letter as they were the base or foundation of the whole novel.
Emma G Cummings
10/20/2018 07:46:34 pm
Im really interested in you questioning the theme that these letters provide. As you said, "Is the passion really worth it?" and when thinking as an outsider you could very easily get to that conclusion about Walton. But what they wouldn't understand is the fire inside of Walton that wants to do this.Our lives are the most important thing in our existence, so it wouldn't be "worth it" to risk our whole existence just to make one discovery that could easily be done in the future with more technology. But its the thrill of being the first one, being remembered for something greater. When you truly want something, you would stop at nothing to achieve it. So to Walton, he would sacrifice more of his life to fulfill his greatest dream and die fulfilled.
10/19/2018 07:45:28 pm
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley begins with four letters from Robert Walton, who is out at sea in search for a route from the Pacific to the Atlantic, sent to his sister, Margaret Saville. In these letters, Walton describes his experiences out in the ocean and his extreme desire for true companionship, which he does not have regardless of the people alongside him on the ship. Eventually, Walton does find a friend, or rather a stranger who had become interested in his goals and shares his dreams with.
10/19/2018 07:56:31 pm
There are a range of rationales when it comes to what makes someone human. Both physical, psychological, and emotional roles are taken into account. All in all, the idea of being human is complexity in nature. Most of the psychological traits that make up human truths are seemingly contradictory. Wendy Wasserstein states in The Heidi Chronicles that “Anyone who is considered funny will tell you, sometimes without even your asking, that deep inside they are very serious, neurotic, introspective people.” Although this is paradoxical because funny and serious are anytnyonms they are put together when talking about human nature.
10/21/2018 08:42:02 pm
The juxtaposition of the character’s expressiveness does express complexities that exemplify human qualities, but I think it is also a good idea to explore what they mean. For example, the “benevolence and sweetness” can turn to what kind of man this person is. He is most definitely a man people enjoy the presence of which is weird when his presence is described with “melancholy and despairing”. It must be that his presence is reflecting something more personal. His expressions are more physical and can be interpreted as more of an outer trait, but the presence can be more personal and involve his emotions and memories. The use of the juxtaposition brings up an image of a man with great morals or personality, but holds a terrible burden of regret or sorrow.
10/21/2018 09:23:03 pm
I like the evidence you used, this is very interesting to me! The second quote you used perfectly captured the idea that the stranger is complex and so are humans, therefore, proving his human qualities. Because my primary blog post was similar, it is easier for me to understand where you are coming from without any confusion. Similar to the quote I used, yours expressed that while he was happy, he was also dissatisfied with himself. When stating that when he felt joy, he was disappointed because he had no one to enjoy it with, it touches on the way that humans are complicated.
Emma G Cummings
10/21/2018 10:27:32 pm
This is a great analysis of the description of the stranger and how obsessed Walton was with his character. So much that the point of view of the story changes to the stranger after the letters. You're explanation of paradox for human nature was very intriguing and thought-provoking. It makes me wonder how many things in life are paradoxical to each other. Im also fascinated with how much character you took out of the stranger out of only one letter. I thought his attitude was contradictory to Walton. While Walton is very enthusiastic and inquisitive, the stranger was very nervous and closed off at first. Another interesting paradox that relates to your ideas.
10/19/2018 09:05:21 pm
“How slowly time passes here, encompassed as I am by frost and snow! Yet a second step is taken towards my enterprise...But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy; and the absence of the object of which I now feel a most severe evil. I have no friend, Margret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy… I cannot describe to you my sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking”(Shelley 15,18)
10/21/2018 11:04:25 pm
I agree with how you stated that Walton wasn’t necessarily putting any effort into actually developing his relationships with those who were aboard his ship. I believe the reason why was because Walton felt as though he was in some way better than his crew members. I think that this is evident when Walton tells the story of one of his crew members who had abandoned his pursuit on the woman he was engaged with solely so that she could be happy. When Walton tells this story, he seems to think little of his crew member and even refers to him as “uneducated” and surrounded by “ignorant carelessness.” However, I don’t really believe that Walton lacked any passion to enjoy his voyage. I believe that at the start of Walton’s journey his passion to explore was enough to keep him satisfied, but in the end he’s greed to be the first to reach the Arctic did take over him.
10/19/2018 09:44:48 pm
Imagination and Inspiration are what drives humanity to move forward and delve into their curiosity, and it is exactly what drives Walton to go on his sea adventures. The first letter is a view into Walton’s naive perspective of travelling. He writes to his sister about his plans and the start of his journey while also reminiscing his influences for wanting to become a sea adventurer.
10/21/2018 05:08:56 pm
I agree with your statement that a lot can happen when someone lets their imagination run wild. However, I don't think it's the lack of reality that can corrupt and blind someone from their original goals. While that may play a small part in it, I believe the bigger part is played by a quest for glory. Humans are greedy and we don't tend to know we want something until someone else has or might soon have it. His quest was innocent enough at first, but the realization that he could gain fame from it is what truly sends him into a frenzy.
10/21/2018 08:27:13 pm
Yes, Humans are greedy, but that is where the loss of reality factor comes in. When people become too greedy, they lose sight of their original goals or get obsessed in it. It plays a much bigger part than you seem to think. I may have pointed one way of looking at how Walter lost reality, and certainly getting lost in greed is another way, but it does not decreases the importance of turning a blind eye to one’s morals and avoiding assessing the situation.
10/21/2018 08:47:58 pm
I agree mostly, however when I was reading I hadn't imagined that Walton's desire to sent out on this journey was based on curiosity alone. It seemed to me at least that the purpose of the journey was to claim the glory of being the first to accomplish a certain task.I may be incorrect but it didn't want to do it for any great reason and that may be the reason why he felt so alone among his crew members.
10/19/2018 09:55:40 pm
In the four letters before the beginning of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Walton is writing to his sister Margaret Saville, detailing his journey as he crosses from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. This is a feat no one had completed at the time, but Robert was incredibly determined to do so. His determination is the answer to the question about what happens when our ideals are realized- we can’t think of anything else except our end goal and everything we do, we do with that ideal in mind. From a young age, Robert was removed from school and busied himself with reading his uncle Thomas’s books about boats and various other adventures others had taken and the things they had done. These books sparked in him the desire to take on the sea himself and do something no one else had ever done before- cross the ocean. Once he had realised that this was what he wanted to do, he became feverish and nearly obsessive in his quest. In letter I, he states “...I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst, and want of sleep; I often worked harder than the common sailors during the day, and devoted my nights to the study of mathematics…” (Shelley 14). Because he wants so badly to achieve his goal he goes above, beyond, and then some, so he can just get his foot in the door that’s keeping him from his dream.
Isobel Ida Bennett
10/21/2018 06:39:48 pm
I think you are right. Robert Walton is working so hard and putting so much effort into chasing down this dream, this ideal, that he is literally making himself sick. I think thus was only exasperated when he put together a crew and acquired the necessary materials to complete this dream was his ideal ever recognized. Doing this, I think, caused him to become ill and depressed, leading to him becoming obsessive over completing this journey.
10/19/2018 10:28:30 pm
In the second letter of Frankenstein from Walton to his sister, Margaret, it is expressed that Walton has no friends and he wishes he had a companion. “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” (Shelley 15). Walton was writing about how his time has been spent so far and that it is both boring and lonely to him. He explains that while he is not deliberately alone and other people are with him, he feels by himself. When he says that “there will be none to participate my joy,” he is essentially saying that even when he is happy, he can’t really be satisfied because he has no one to enjoy things with. This section ties into the essential question which asks what it means to be human. Most humans tend to crave companionship, whether it be through animals or other people. Being completely alone, emotionally, makes it very difficult to be happy. It is typical of humans to desire attention, so Walton’s want for a friend is the perfect example of humanity.
Isobel Ida Bennett
10/21/2018 06:54:21 pm
I completely agree! Robert Walton is in desperate need of a friend, a companion He is all alone on the boat and he even says no one on the boat meats his mentality. He says he is much more smarter than everyone else he is surrounded by This can be extremely difficult to find a companion because if someone does not this on the same level as you, it is hard to connect with each other.
10/21/2018 09:01:36 pm
I agree with you especially when you said "It is typical of humans to desire attention, so Walton’s want for a friend is the perfect example of humanity" because psychologically humans are extremely social beings. As humans we literally don't develop properly if we aren't social. For example children who aren't spoken to at a young age will never learn how to properly communicate. I believe the need to be social is the most human trait simply because humans have used companionship and communication to survive for thousands years.
10/21/2018 09:46:49 pm
I actually really like your comparison to human development. I did not even consider that while writing my primary blog response, I was just thinking about how we humans desire companionship and not how we literally need it for social “normalcy.” I completely agree with you that for humans, social interaction is one of the most important necessities. If you think about people who either lack or do not possess communication skills, you can see that they tend to not be friendly. This characteristic can also be seen through Walton who does not like anyone he is acquainted with.
10/21/2018 11:39:50 pm
I agree with your statement that most humans tend to crave any form of companionship. Social interactions and bonds are very essential for human beings because without them, people can’t learn to properly communicate, form relationships, and are more likely to be in a depressed state, both physically and emotionally. Another person who responded to your post brought up the importance of communication and social interactions with child development and I believe this highlights how Walton’s desire for a friend perfectly describes what it means to be human. This is because as humans, we need to be able to form connections with other people, however in Walton’s case, although he wants a friend, he is also purposely keeping his crew members at arm’s-length simply because he believes he is better than them in some way.
10/19/2018 11:55:43 pm
In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the story begins with four letters written by Captain Walton to his sister Margaret. In these letters he explains how he is on a voyage to the North Pole and to be the first discover it. In the fourth letter Walton and his crew find a stranger and pick him up but it is a few days before he can speak. Eventually Walton tells how he has formed a new bond with this stranger. “I said in one of my letter … that I should find no friend on the side ocean… yet I have found a man who… I should have been happy to have possessed as the brother of my heart”. This correlates to the essential theme What does it mean to be human because humans thrive for relationships and friendships. Being human also means wanting a companionship and a want to feel needed. In letters 2-3 Captain Walton was explaining how he was feeling lonely and all to himself but that was due to the fact that he thought that he was better than the crew and that he shouldn’t share his thoughts with them. When the stranger came upon the ship Walton became close with him and like he said in the quote, potentially found a friend even though that wasn’t his intention in the first place.
10/21/2018 06:56:27 pm
I agree with your statement about how our need for companionship is essentially what makes us human. But, I am curious as to why Walton had developed such a quick yet meaningful relationship with a man he hardly knew. Although Walton had believed that he was superior among the men on the ship, he was also desperate for a friend. Some people may have simply settled for what they had continue to push for companionship with those on board, but Walton did not do this. Would this make him more or less human? The relationship between Walton and the stranger also demonstrates how, although time can deepen friendships/relationships, it does not define them.
10/21/2018 09:42:08 pm
That's a really interesting. I don't think the fact that he didn't settle makes him less of a human. I think it makes him more of a human because he knows what he wants. It also shows that he's ambitious in every part of his life. Not only does he refuse to give up when hardships face he and his crew, but he refuses to "settle" when it doesn't seem like he's going to find a friend. He sticks it out and he eventually finds a friend, albeit a slightly unconventional one. But, then again, there's no such thing as a conventional friendship.
Emma G. Cummings
10/20/2018 12:00:26 am
The opening letters that prelude Frankenstein tell a very personal story. Before getting into Victor Frankenstein and the Creature, Author Mary Shelley tells us the story of Walton and how he embarks on a voyage through the antarctic to find his own romance. The story is told in letter, which include detailed explanations of how Walton is feeling during the voyage. He describes his anticipation for the journey saying, “gladly I would sacrifice my fortune, my existence, my every hope, to the furtherance of my enterprise. One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought” (Shelley 23). Walton knows of the dangers of his voyage. He is aware of what horrible deaths he can face, how much he would have to sacrifice. But the thrill of embarking on a fulfilling journey with people you care about is worth the risk for him. As he stated, he doesn't care if he has to sacrifice someone or himself for it, Acquiring that everlasting glory and defying fate is his ultimate goal. Similar to how Victor Frankestein will defy the laws of humanity to achieve the impossible. Reanimation. This story, at its core, is about defying expectations and pursuing your deepest dreams.
10/21/2018 09:35:44 pm
I enjoyed how you connected Walton’s motives of defying the odds to Frankenstein’s that will later appear in the story. It is clear that Walton is willing to risk everything he has in order to achieve his goal of fame and accomplishment, but it doesn’t seem right that he is willing to put other people’s lives at risk for his own desires. Although he is not directly saying he is willing to risk the lives of the men on board, it can be assumed that he wouldn’t mind choosing his goal over the men because he has no true relationship with any of them. Although sacrificing everything to achieve something else seems noble and even humble, choosing to sacrifice something that doesn’t belong to you (in order to elevate your name) is selfish.
10/21/2018 09:55:39 pm
My question to everybody is "what do you desire". You delivered the answer to this question that I think I wasn't able to answer for myself. We humans have something in common and that is "desire" what are you looking for what do you seek. There's a saying out there in the world "Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything." Your success is your desire if you can't desire you expect to get what you wish no way. Get out there show the world what you can do ain't nobody will care now but once you get it oh they are gonna care about you.
10/20/2018 03:20:05 pm
10/21/2018 08:49:53 pm
Isobel Ida Bennett
10/21/2018 06:20:15 pm
In the beginning of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, Walton writes that he wants a friend. He says, “I have no friend, Margaret: when i am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate in my joy.” This quotes is stated while Walton is on a boat, in the midst of the arctic ocean, stuck with men he feels no connection to. In this quote, Walton is yearning for a friend to share life’s ups and downs with. He is wishing for a human connection. This feeling Walton is expressing, begins to introduce and ask the essential question: What does it mean to be human? Walton, being a human being, is wishing for human connection. Some people argue that connectivity is just an aspect of being human. They argue that all humans need and desire connection. It has even been proven scientifically that human connection helps heal people. Through this quote, Mary Shelley begins to comment on the meaning of being a human. Mary Shelley is able to subtly suggest that she believes being human means yearning for connection. Mary Shelley is able to begin to answer this essential question through the use of this simple quote.
10/21/2018 09:05:21 pm
The way you delivered the messege about one's need of someone in their life was amazing. In our lives everyday we look for someone whom we could share our thoughts with them or we could express ourselves. There is a famous quote "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone". This quote is so deep that if I was able to fill it with gold and money and precious stones, I wouldn't be able to fill it completely. Frienship is something we can't imagine our lives without it. Our lives start to build when we actually find a friend.
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