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 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...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1011 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 29, 2020
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 29, 2020