How does the setting foreshadow both positive and negative events in Frankenstein?
The initial setting readers are introduced to, in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, is one of ice and isolation. It is through Walton's letters that the reader comes to learn of the extremely cold and desolate place Walton is voyaging through. The impact of this setting is important given it foreshadows two very specific things.
First, Walton admits to his sister in Letter II that the areas of the North Pole are not only covered by "frost and snow," the region is also solitary. All Walton wants, besides discovering the "seat of magnetism," is a friend.
I desire the company of a man who could sympathise with me; whose eyes would reply to mine.
This, therefore, foreshadows the Creature's need for a companion.
“You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being."
Like Walton, the Creature desires companionship--a being who can relate to and understand him.
Secondly, Walton's ice setting extends throughout the novel, both literally and figuratively. Literally, readers see both Victor and the Creature in settings of ice. Figuratively, the ice represents the solitude felt by, and linking, Walton, Victor and the Creature.
Therefore, the setting foreshadows the positive events of Walton finding a friend in the isolated ice of the North, and setting foreshadows the negative events of life not being able to exist in such harsh climates (seen by the deaths of both Victor and the Creature and Walton's leaving for England--unable to fulfill his dream).