How are Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein similar in the novel Frankenstein?

Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein share a spirit of adventure as well as tremendous intelligence. They both push the boundaries of what is possible in their chosen scientific fields, sometimes sacrificing relationships to do so.

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Robert Walton and VictorFrankenstein act as doubles for one another. Both are ambitious people who seek to make names for themselves. Frankenstein wants to defeat death. Walton wants to explore Antarctica. Both are also driven by an obsessive desire for knowledge: Frankenstein's desires to learn about the creation of...

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Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein act as doubles for one another. Both are ambitious people who seek to make names for themselves. Frankenstein wants to defeat death. Walton wants to explore Antarctica. Both are also driven by an obsessive desire for knowledge: Frankenstein's desires to learn about the creation of life and Walton desires to explore unknown territory.

The most significant similarity might be the isolation both men feel. Both men are highly intelligent and rather separate from other people because of this. Indeed, once Walton rescues Frankenstein, he is excited to have another intellectual to talk with on his ship since he feels isolated from his own crew. Both also feel alone in their ambitions and willingness to push beyond accepted limitations.

Despite all these similarities, they differ in one major respect: Walton does not go all the way with his ambitions. By the time Frankenstein encounters Walton, his life has been one massive failure after another as a result of his irresponsibility and unchecked ambition. Walton himself is in a similar situation: his crew are tired and the way ahead will more than likely lead to certain death. For Victor, any threat to his loved ones or himself was no deterrent. Walton is his foil in that he ultimately decides to turn back on his dream, unwilling to risk lives for the sake of science.

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Both Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein crave adventure. Robert Walton seeks to explore the boundaries of the natural world. In a letter to his sister, he expresses his desire to "satiate [his] ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited," and he also wishes to set foot on land no other man has explored in the Arctic realms. Similarly, Victor Frankenstein craves adventure by pushing the boundaries of human life. He wishes to touch the realms of science in ways no one has ever been able to do before. Similarly curious, Frankenstein wants to discover the path to a man never before createdone not birthed by a woman but instead created by his own hands.

Both men are also highly intellectual. Walton complains that he cannot enjoy friendship aboard the ship because no one shares his intellectual capacities. He is thrilled to encounter Victor Frankenstein, believing him to be the intellectual stimulation he's longed for. Frankenstein is indeed an intelligent man, highly praised by his teachers and classmates:

It may be easily conceived that my progress was rapid. My ardour was indeed the astonishment of the students, and my proficiency that of the masters. Professor Krempe often asked me, with a sly smile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on, whilst M. Waldman expressed the most heartfelt exultation in my progress.

In fact, the men seem so particularly focused on their intellectual quests that they are willing to abandon their relationships. Walton writes that he has worked on the details of his voyage for six years, and Frankenstein recalls that he never went home during the years he studied the sciences with his professors.

Both of these men want to be world-changers, impacting known understandings through their adventurous spirits, strong work ethic, and keen intelligence.

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Robert and Victor are both men from a similar social class who come from supportive families. Each has a sensitive nature and the desire to do good for the human race. They also feel an affinity for each other, especially as each is lonely and isolated when they meet in the Arctic.

Their biggest similarity is their ambition. Both want to make important scientific discoveries that will have an impact on the world. Both have pursued their goal relentlessly and isolated themselves in the process. Both are willing to take risks in the pursuit of knowledge.

Victor's overwhelming desire to create life from inanimate body parts causes himself to drive himself into a nervous state that isolates him and ruins his health. Yet despite his inordinate ambition, he creates a life that seems to him to be monstrous. He has tried to play God and has, instead, caused disaster.

Robert learns from from Victor's mistake. Rather allow his ambition to take over and drive him to reckless risks with his crew's lives in the pursuit of knowledge, Robert gives in to his men's desire that he turn his ship back. Nevertheless, as Victor would, Walton feels frustrated and unhappy about the failure of his journey.

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Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein share a real passion for knowledge. They're both fascinated by natural science and the enormous possibilities it opens up for the growth of human knowledge. They are deeply devoted to their studies, so much so that they are isolated figures, cut adrift from the rest of mankind. In his second letter to his sister, Walton states how bitterly he feels the want of a friend; Victor's subsequent appearance really couldn't have come at a better time.

Yet even after their first fateful meeting among the frozen wastes of the Northern Pacific, the two men remain dedicated primarily to their scientific research. The pursuit of knowledge is everything to these men, even at the cost of being unable to form close human relationships. Robert and Victor are young men in a hurry and will not allow little things like emotions to get in their way.

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Both Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein pursue greater knowledge and accomplishment.  They both hope to be the first to discover new, ground-breaking knowledge and skill.  Walton hopes to find a passage near the pole to the North Pacific Ocean to shorten the time it takes to make that trip, as well as to discover the power of the magnet.  Frankenstein hopes to find a cure to disease and death by learning the secret to reanimating lifeless matter. Both are focused on their goals to the point of recklessness.  Neither seems capable of predicting the dangers that may be involved in so persistently pursuing their goals. Both seem to have a one-track mind and will stop at nothing to reach the intended discovery.  Both risk life and limb in the pursuit.

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