In Frankenstein, what did the man ask the captain?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm assuming you're referring to the fourth letter from Robert Walton to his sister, in which he relates his first encounter with Victor Frankenstein:

On perceiving me, the stranger addressed me in English, although with a foreign accent. "Before I come on board your vessel," said he, "will you have the kindness to inform me whither you are bound?"

You may conceive my astonishment on hearing such a question addressed to me from a man on the brink of destruction, and to whom I should have supposed that my vessel would have been a resource which he would not have exchanged for the most precious wealth the earth can afford. I replied, however, that we were on a voyage of discovery towards the northern pole.

So, Victor asks Walton where his ship is headed before he agrees to come aboard. Walton is astonished, as one would imagine a man trapped on the Arctic ice would not question the destination of a savior vessel.

Of course, he is also shocked by the very situation. they have been traveling in the North for months, & Walton has continuously conveyed his loneliness and depression through his letters. Now, his crew miraculously finds another lone man on the ice, & it is with this man that Walton will find the companionship he so desperately craves.

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