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.
10/10/2016 06:55:29 pm
In the end of Walton’s third letter to his sister, he speaks very proudly of his endeavors. He is in search of finding a quicker passage to the Pacific. In the last two paragraphs of the third letter, “But success shall crown…bless my beloved sister!”(Shelley 19). Walton shows his confidence in his excursion. He states that he has gone this far, so there would be no point in stopping now. Walton tells his sister of his strong desire to complete his mission by saying, “What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?” (Shelley 19). This quote means that when a man has something he wants to accomplish, nothing can get in his way of succeeding.
10/13/2016 08:04:15 pm
I agree that Walton's determination is one of his strongest attributes and one of man's greatest strengths. And I predict that his determination will also act as his fatal flaw, his hamartia, if you will. Because of his unwavering determination he would do anything it takes to achieve his goal. So for example, when faced with the ice Walton was willing to put his life and his crew mates' lives in danger in order to get through. This shows that his determination can lead to reckless behavior and could've caused the death of him and his crew mates. Like you, I believe the duality of determination being a strength and a weakness will also be a major theme in this book.
10/13/2016 08:12:14 pm
I agree that determination is one of the main aspects that will occur later on in the novel. It will end up developing into a greater idea that follows throughout. Walton is the character in which we see the most determination in completing his goals. We see that he is willing to go to extreme lengths just so he’s able to accomplish what he wants. I believe this idea of determination will become a bigger impact and affect more than just Walton later on. I believe that the character who comes in contact with Walton on the boat will learn a lot from Walton. He could see that this man is very determined in getting what he desires. Which would ultimately make him want to be like Walton and become a very determined man. Determination is a key aspect following this novel.
10/13/2016 09:35:52 pm
It is very likely that determination will be a theme that is emphasized in the chapters to follows. As you’ve mentioned, so far we have seen great determination both from Walton and the strangers. Walton is determined to accomplish his journey no matter what the outcomes maybe. He is willing to risk his life for fame. As the stranger told Walton “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did”( Shelley 25). At some point in his life the stranger must have had that same determination as Walton did. We know the stranger’s journey did not end so well. Further in the book they will be a focus on determination and the consequences of determination.
10/10/2016 08:22:51 pm
Letter one, paragraphs 4-10, describes Walden’s fate that he’s “willing to face, risking the lives of his crew, in order to fulfill his all-consuming pursuit of fame’s immortality.” After six years since his last undertaking he is ready to dedicate himself to a “great enterprise”, and he doesn’t want anything to get in his way (Shelley 14). This passage also incorporates Shelley’s authorial intent for the novel through the exhibition of universal virtue. Walden is going on a journey for three weeks, not knowing what he will encounter, but he is willing to take that risk as it states in the passage. This passage also deepens my understanding of the author’s intent because the letters provide an example of what the novel will be like. Virtues, elementary principles, domestic affection, and the story resting on a casual conversation are all included within the letter. Walden goes on a virtue, the elementary principle of taking care of someone who is in dire need is included, domestic affection of the person he saved, and the story rest on Walden sending letters to his sister is a casual conversation. Overall, these letters provides me with an understanding of what’s to come in the chapters ahead.
10/14/2016 04:19:58 am
With Walden's behavior towards situations happening in the letter, I think you are right about how he is determined to make the trip over the ocean/sea but yet again does it in his own way without wanting anything to get in his way, which may tie in to having to face reality vs. assuming every thing would happen the right way without any troubles, or overlooking the possible "failures"/ downfalls. Having Walden somewhat the main character in the letters gives away a bit of what to expect from some characters in the story. It also shows some possible characteristics of characters such as having affection, and beginning a journey without knowing where it would end up.
10/14/2016 06:37:37 am
I agree with how the letters give an insight on how the novel is going to be as well as how the characters are. I also think that since Walton is going on a journey and doesn't know what's up for him, and he's expecting a miracle because he's taking "that risk". Maybe this could probably be one of the themes throughout the novel. A person will go into a journey or task not knowing what's in it for themselves and they believe that everything is going to turn out to be all rainbows and flowers in the end, but unfortunately, that is the complete opposite. word count: 106
10/10/2016 08:33:48 pm
In the August 19th passage of Walton’s fourth letter, the stranger that Walton has encountered and brought in say to him “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been.” (Shelley 25). This quote deepens the relationship between Walton and the stranger as the stranger realizes the parallels between Walton’s journey and his and as a friend gives him a few words of wisdom. Through the stranger’s words, Shelley introduces the theme of the danger of knowledge as the stranger says that his quest for knowledge and understanding has led him to many unfortunate circumstances and to where he is today. The stranger advises Walton to learn from his current state by being wary in his journey as there is a chance that it can end awry. This passage also shows more of their friendship as the stranger wishes that his words can “One that may direct …in your undertaking, and console you in case of failure” (Shelley 25).This goes to show that Walton and this stranger are truly friends and it quells Walton’s previously stated thirst for friendship.
10/13/2016 09:32:44 pm
I believe that Walton had no other choice than to bring a complete stranger into his ship for the simple fact that he needed some company and someone to share his experiences with. The stranger is in a way the knowledge and wisdom that Walton is seeking because his words of inspiration serve Walton to learn from the mistakes of other people in order to not make the same. i agree with you when you say that this deepens their friendship because it shows how alike these two people are, and in a way it foreshadows what Walton's outcome will be like. (word count 102)
10/13/2016 11:25:48 pm
I agree that this encounter is important in developing Shelley's theme in the novel. Walton's voyage is very dangerous, but he pursues it because of his headstrong nature and lack of consideration for his crew's safety. I assume that this is parallel to Victor's feelings when creating Frankenstein. He was probably only mindful of the glory he would get from this and not of its repercussions. I think that the line you quoted, "I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you," may be foreshadowing the demise of Walton's ship. If Victor and Walton's stories run parallel, I predict that both of their endeavors will result in disaster.
10/10/2016 09:14:49 pm
In the fourth letter to his sister Walton writes about the stranger that they found half dead near their ship after the ice cleared. This stranger has now become Walton’s friend. The stranger notices Walton’s “seek for knowledge and wisdom as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been”( Shelley 25). The stranger is telling Walton’s his story is almost like a warning to him. Walton’s has embark on the biggest and most dangerous mission of his life and there’s some stranger telling him that he is gonna tell him about his own journey. The stranger has suffered “great and unparalleled misfortunes”(shelley 25). He even says that he once decided to die with them but is now forced to tell him. This emphasizes the importance of what the stranger is about to say. We know that what follows is the stranger’s story. This foreshadows the warning and themes that may enclosed in the story. The stranger is telling Walton’s his story because he sees the things that Walton is willing to do to achieve fame. He has been there and knows the dangers of that and want to warn him.
Mercy B Jackson
10/13/2016 07:52:10 pm
I agree with your response because it is helpful when someone gives you advice about something they have experienced themselves, so I believe that the stranger was trying to give Walton his story to show that you can’t always achieve something just because you work hard to get there. Walton wants to accomplish something that is extremely dangerous, can risk the lives of himself or his crew, and it is not certain for success, so Walton should take the strangers advice since he is going on a limb with this trip. Like the stranger, Walton could end up like the stranger and be left with nothing at all. (wc 108)
10/13/2016 10:52:01 pm
I agree with your choice of the quote and the analysis. It really shows why Mary Shelly used a series of letters to begin her story. It not only foreshadow's the turn that the stranger's story will take, but it also shows the relationship developing between these two characters. This is because Victor cares enough about Walden to share some advice he wishes someone gave him. Victor also shows that he sees some of himself in Walden. Victor sees the same quest for the meaning of life and he is happy for Walden but he also worries that the outcome of his journey will be misery.
10/13/2016 10:54:28 pm
10/10/2016 09:16:04 pm
When Walton writes these letters to his sister, we see the true passion he has for accomplishing something he truly wishes for. Walton’s passage is to go on the sea and travel to new land. For his family though, this is a passion in which scares them. As Walton mentioned in the first letter that, “as a child, on learning that my father’s dying injunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embark in a seafaring life”(Shelley 14). Walton had never been able to go out to sea because his family didn’t want him to take the same destiny as Walton’s father. However, now that he’s older he’s able to take the life-risking journey for his passion. He even goes as far as saying in his third letter to his sister that “My swelling heart involuntarily pours itself out thus. But I must finish”(Shelley 19). It’s like he has no control over stopping until his passion has been met which is the ultimate passion. This understanding of the great passion he has allows for us to see the type of character Waldon is. He is someone that will go to all limits to achieve something he desires. When he’s willing to risk his own life and the lives of others shows that he is a very determined character. This makes him a more developed character that can lead to a man vs. self conflict. He doesn’t know when he’s gone to far so he could ultimately hurt himself. Leading to the central message of extreme passion and determination can ultimately lead to character downfall.
10/13/2016 05:20:27 pm
I completely agree that Walton is a very passionate and determined person. His mind is set on a goal that he so desperately wants to achieve, but I also believe that this can be a fatal flaw. Determination and passion is certainly a key that can unlock the door to “glory”, but when others’ lives are at great risk and, more importantly, your own life, you could possibly be deprived of your goal. If Walton’s crew members were to die he would have no one left to help carry out his journey, and if he were to die his dream would therefore dissipate.
10/13/2016 09:45:37 pm
Passion and determination are emphasized various amount of time in these letters. Whenever Walton writes to his sister he is talking about his determination to travel to the new land. It is about him knowing the dangers he is putting himself into and his team as well, but he’s not willing to stop because a force is pushing him to keep going. It is about his feelings towards things and persons such as the strangers. Determination and passion together could lead to disastrous outcome. That can create conflict. It would lead to Walton battling himself. Walton knows the dangers of this journey but yet he is not willing to stop because it his passion. He is determined to accomplish it.
10/10/2016 09:17:16 pm
Walden is willing to face his fears and risk his crew members’ lives to reach his goal. A passage on page 14 typifies this: “And now, dear Margaret… when theirs are failing.” In this passage, he is telling her that he wants to accomplish something great although he could’ve lived life in luxury. He knows that his voyage is going to be difficult and knows that even when everyone’s spirits are low, including his own, it is his duty to give all his strength towards his goals and to his crew. He also says that despite times of his own low spirits, he always remains courageous and determined. Shelley’s authorial intent was to show readers the impact of scientific exploration and to develop the captain’s character. On a positive note, it instilled a drive in the captain that always pushed him forward despite feelings of hopelessness; his desire for accomplishment always came first. He wouldn’t allow himself to give up. His exploration put a lot at risk however. He has left his sister and took his crew away from their lives as well. It also puts everyone in great danger; there is no guarantee that any of them will survive. They could die trying to achieve this greatness. This raises questions of what people are willing to do and give up for the sake of exploration.
10/13/2016 08:21:32 pm
I find it very interesting that Shelley is able to do show these ideas through Walton. I had previously seen that Walton was someone who was determined in what he was doing. However, it was interesting to see that it was this sort of “drive” that allowed him to be so determined. Like stated, he was able to get out of these feelings of hopelessness and move on to continue his goals. I believe that this idea of finding something that helps in rough times will come up again at a point in the novel. I predict that this character trait of Walton will come up when having to make a big decision. He will be able to “drive” out of it and end up doing what is ultimately right in the end.
10/13/2016 08:33:04 pm
I absolutely agree with this response. I believe Walton's determination acts as his driving force in all of this. He is steadfast, almost to the point of fixation and obsession, on his quest for knowledge or his romantic eloquence "light." His determination is what makes him decide to keep moving forward in spite of his aching loneliness and of the numerous obstacles in his journey. Even in circumstances like the ice, Walton will move forward and even risk his life to continue on his journey. Yet, I think that this drive is his fatal flaw and this duality of determination will become a major theme in the book. Determination can be a force that drives other to their goals, but it can also lead to disasters.
10/10/2016 10:23:00 pm
I feel like Shelley starts off with letters to create almost a personal anecdote as well as an exposition. By doing this, she reveals some themes throughout the book as well as some foreshadowing that we might not know of yet. In letter number 4, Mr. Walton quotes the stranger that he finds, “’…You have hope, and the world before you, and have no cause for despair. But I—I have lost everything, and cannot begin life anew’” (Shelley 24). This holds the essential theme of exploration. The stranger is telling him to basically take chances and he has a whole life ahead of him to live. This will spark his imagination to do something more, to do something that he has never done before. He has found a friend in this stranger, and he has learned something from him. This can relate to Victor Frankenstein because Victor is currently studying life in Ingolstadt, he is opening the doors to his future. The stranger could also be Victor regretting what he has done which may have destroyed relationships with others and ruined his own life. The stranger is warning whoever may want to seek new adventures to be careful with what he is going to do. The consequences that may happen when we don’t take responsibility for our actions may be devastating and will change our lives dramatically.
10/13/2016 05:04:23 pm
These first letters definitely reveal themes, such as passion can lead to downfall, and foreshadowing. However, I don't think that the stranger is necessarily telling Walton to take chances but to be careful with the chances he takes because if he takes too great of a chance he can end up as the stranger did and loose everything. Walton has definitely found a friend in this stranger but even more so it seems hes found a person who is very similar to himself and who can help guide him in his own journey. I also agree that the stranger is definitely regretful of what he has done because he has, "... lost everything and cannot begin life anew"(Shelley 24).
10/13/2016 05:54:59 pm
While I was reading the letters I was happy that Walton was able to find a friend that could keep him company along his trip. He seemed to give Walton excellent advice that he learned from due to his failures and experiences of his own. On the other hand, I think he could become too attached to this mysterious man. Their connection is described to be very strong, but with time they could possibly grow apart. The man could also give Walton advice that he might not like and rebel against his word. Overall, Walton should still be careful around this man because it’s still the beginning of their friendship.
10/13/2016 11:18:01 pm
I completely agree with your perspective on the letters. It did feel almost like a personal anecdote. It does also seem that he has found a friend in the stranger. They are very similar, especially in their desire for exploration. At one point, the man had the whole world to look forward to, just as Walton does now. I saw this as foreshadowing a downturn for Walton, but didn't make that connection to Victor. It resembles his situation. He is enthralled with his work and has made significant life changes, just as Walton has. With the both of them, they've opened doors to things that can be life-altering. They just have to see if it'll be altered positively or negatively and if it'll be worth it.
Ethel Sargant (I think)
10/10/2016 10:56:19 pm
Scientific advancements and exploration can be both good and bad depending on the outcome of the scientist and how much responsibility he is willing to hold. Shelley chooses to start her novel with letters to show the moral of Frankenstein and to foreshadow what will happen further in story with Walton, since from the letters the reader can tell he has many things in common with Victor. Walton and Victor are alike because they both want to conquer what is unknown to them and they are letting their ambition take over their actions. Victor has something to teach Walton about the consequences of bad scientific advancement. Victor says to Walton “You seek for wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been…when I reflect that you are pursuing the same course, exposing yourself to the same dangers which has rendered me what I am…my tale conveys in its series internal evidence of the truth of the events of which it is composed (25).” By the tone of his message it is clear that victor is using his tale to teach Walton a lesson in hopes that he will not follow his footsteps and let his ambition lead to bad outcomes. Victors sees a lot of himself in Walton and does not want bad scientific outcomes to end his journey and dream of exploring.
10/14/2016 04:39:17 am
The fact that it is mentioned that victor and Walton have the same aim of achieving their goals of solving problems that are not expected of them to do, it gives a clear understanding of what would happen further in the story. As you mentioned, they take tasks that are over what they can do, and they let their goals/ambitions override their decisions taken towards what they have to achieve. They see too much of glory to whatever task they take upon themselves rather than finding out possible trials and tribulations, and also possible crashes that can come along with the objectives they have in mind and ways to prevent those trials (Especially Walton), since Victor realizes the bad aspect of the situation and advices himself not to be like Walton.
10/14/2016 06:27:52 am
I think you really phrased/said how the letters show the morals of Frankenstein pretty well. It does show how Frankenstein is actually pretty lonely and that all he wants is friend, but his feelings of anger and sadness shows other wise. Also, Walton and Victor are very similar ,but because they are very similar Victor knows what's to come for Walton. I agree that Victor is just looking out for Walton because when you see someone else who has the potential to follow your footsteps, you're more likely to give them advice. It's like a parent lecturing and giving words of wisdom to their child. word count: 106
Maria Mitchell maybe
10/10/2016 11:00:00 pm
In the 3rd letter Walton explains to his sister that even though his crew is facing poor conditions he is going to continue his voyage when he says, “the floating sheets of ice that continually pass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards which we are advancing, appear to dismay them…What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?”(Shelley 19). This quote shows that the character is determined in his travels however this foreshadows danger because being too determined without knowing the problem can be dangerous. Secondly, in the 4th letter the stranger shares his story to Walton by saying “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been”(shelley25). This shows again that Walton should take the strangers advice because the stranger was just like Walton once and he is left with nothing because sometimes too much determination blinds you from the actual outcome of the situation. These events help me understand the message of these letters and the characters because it demonstrates what others are willing to do to explore new things and further their knowledge even if it may affect others negatively.
10/13/2016 10:10:19 pm
i completely agree with you when saying that Walton is a very determined man, however i do not like the fact that he is risking the lives of other people to achieve his goals. He is determined however he is blind to the consequences of his actions. If he continues his journey like this then he will never be able to find what he is seeking which is knowledge and wisdom because i believe that is something developed not found. i also agree with you when you say that he should follow the strangers advice because he would only benefit from it and it could make him have a better outcome than by just listening to his ambition (word count 118).
10/13/2016 10:51:59 pm
I agree with you stating that that quote foreshadows danger. Determination is typically seen as a positive character trait, but there is always a line where that fixation becomes too much. As you said, it can become blinding. That determination can lead to a sort of fantasy ideology. All sense of reality can be blocked out. The danger of the situation isn't even a factor once that line between determination and unrealistic thinking is crossed. Walton should indeed take the stranger's advice because he was once in his shoes. His focus on the gratification of it all became his downfall. Now he's just telling his story to a ship captain and doesn't seem satisfied with his current situation. Walton should take this man as an example. He too could one day just be another person with a story of failed intentions.
10/11/2016 01:20:48 am
In the second letter, Captain Robert Walton talks about his feelings and how he wish he was accompanied by a male friend due to the loneliness on the ship . In the passage, " ...and I greatly need a friend who would have sense...I easily engaged him to assist in my enterprise," (Shelly 16), it's a foreshadow of how "Frankenstein" is going to be like as well. The passage includes a lot of lists and commas that further on explain what the Captain wants in a friend. The readers are able to comprehend what exactly he wants and they have a clear image of that "friend". It's human to want the company of another human being because it keeps a person going in life and sane. It could be the 1800's or the twenty first century. There are basic civilizational necessities that every person has to have. Frankenstein grew to be miserable and alone because he was too hideous to become friends with anyone. Without this, he was simply not content and it caused him to reach the downfalls that had occurred. Just like the Captain, he wanted some company. However, everything is not what is it seems, so be careful of what you wish for.
10/11/2016 01:23:10 am
10/13/2016 11:35:41 pm
I agree that it is human to want some company, but Walton seems like the only reason he was so fascinated by Victor was because he realized that he was also lonely. I agree with you that one theme could be that everything is not what it seems .I feel like Walton is going to change as a result of this friendship, Walden is going to learn some big lesson. This is because Victor continues to warn him about things that have happened to him. Maybe he will learn that sometimes you can find yourself on a journey to finding something wonderful but in the end, you could find something totally different.
10/13/2016 11:51:04 pm
Your idea that Walton's lack of friendship is foreshadowing the creature's same feeling is an interesting idea. However, I feel that Shelley makes Walton lonely for a different reason: to show how drive for glory can make a person unfriendable (I made up that word). Walton is fixated on achieving his goal and gaining glory, no matter what the cost. I feel that this is the reason for his lack of friendship. This is similar to Victor's story because he was determined to create a "perfect man." His need for perfection caused his creation to defy him. The creature's defiance to Victor and Walton's loneliness are the punishments that they received for wanting glory and perfection.
10/11/2016 08:03:24 am
Beginning the book with letters, it creates a good exposition for readers to know a bit of what to expect. Since letters during the years (1700/1800s) was mainly the way of communicating, it tells readers that numerous incidents led to development of the book, which consists of adventures which some gave good results, and others bad. In the third letter, the captain assures his sister that he is "safe and we'll advanced on [his] voyage" Shelly,18. With this, it deepens the understanding of the letters since it is assured that he knows what he is doing(with regards to the journey). Even though he states that he "may not see his native land...for many years"Shelley 19, he has hopes and good spirits that he would survive on the land where he is. This shows how determined he is about the whole journey, sacrifices he tends to make in order to go on the journey, and how he thinks he can make it through no matter what happens. He knows that ashe he and his crew has embarked on that journey, there are few chances of their survival but still goes on with it. On page 19, he assures his sister that "I will not rashly encounter danger.I will be cool, persevering,and prudent", giving out the message that since he has risked the lives of his crew and his, he knows that they would make it, and that there should be no panics about his voyage. He also says that even when he doesn't make it, the "stars...will be witnesses and testimonies" Shelley, 19 of what he had in mind and the effort he made. From this, and even after they were help by the ice and sinking ship, he didn't loose hope, but still saw a brighter continuation of the journey, which elaborates the extent to which he would go and the things he would do despite challenges he encounters. This would give a better understanding of what would happen in the book, and the extent to where inventions, and journiys would be made.
Mercy B Jackson
10/13/2016 08:06:16 pm
I agree with you. I admire his determination but a vision without a plan is just a dream, and I feel that’s what this journey is like. Walton is hoping to discover something new by just roaming the sea and risking the lives of himself and his crew, but he doesn’t really have a plan. So when events like the stranger and the ice occur, he is not fully prepared and he kind of just goes with what happens. With this happening in the letters, I feel like in the book we’ll be introduced to characters that are as determined as Walton who may not have a plan but to discover new things and further their knowledge.(wc 117)
10/11/2016 08:09:36 am
He knows that as he*...
10/11/2016 03:23:49 pm
In letter 4, Walden writes to his sister about the stranger in the sled that he is fascinated by. Mary Shelley uses this letters and the others to introduce the focus of the story in a different light. By introducing the story this way, Shelley shows us one point of view in which the reader can see the story.Stumbling on this gentleman whom we can assume is the main character in the action of the story because he tells the writer of the letter a "strange", "harrowing", and "frightful" story. This story could be the . Also by using these letters in the beginning of the story Shelley also foreshadows the action of the story. She does this by creating a connection between the letter writer and the man who we can assume is the main character in the narrative. The wounded man says "You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been." (Shelley 25). This shows as a warning to the letter writer that things may not turn out how he wants them to turn out. His warning shows that the story will be one of tragedy and misfortune.
10/12/2016 09:41:00 pm
11/1/2016 05:04:53 pm
In the first paragraph of the third letter, Walton writes to his sister of being well advanced now on his journey. In his first paragraph, he states “I am, however, in good spirits: my men are bold and apparently firm of purpose, nor do the floating sheets of ice that continually pass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards which we are advancing, appear to dismay them” (Shelley 4-8). Throughout his letters, it’s apparent that Walton raves this endeavor and will stop at nothing when it comes to traveling. I think Mary Shelley incorporated this paragraph into the letter to clearly and vividly state to the reader that Walton does not care about the life of his crew. He will not let their fear of advancing stop his journey. In this specific quote, he sees the ice that he knows they are heading into and he also knows that it more than likely a bad idea to continue ahead, but he still continues. Why does he do this? Shelley is trying to show his obsession in this paragraph. She successfully, almost sneakily, slides in information that can be used to clearly argue how crazed Walton really is. Naturally, in all great stories, every hero has their fatal flaw. This was Shelley’s way of conveying this flaw.
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