How does Walton respond to the stranger? Why do you think Walton is attracted to the stranger?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Robert Walton brings the stranger, who we later learn is Victor Frankenstein, on board his ship. His crew cares for the sick man, while Walton listens to his tale. Walton is disbelieving at first, but he & his crew glimpse the creature making its way across the ice. Walton's personality is a mixture of Frankenstein and the creature: a rational, scientific thinker, concerned with facts and the practical matters of his expedition, but also a Romantic adventurer, eager for the rewards of new experiences and sensitive to human emotions. Walton is established as a reliable reporter, so his description of his passenger as an honest, sincere man, makes his bizarre story more believable.

Walton and his passenger share a common bond in their Romantic natures. Both men desire to explore the unknown and are inspired by grand ideas. There is also a strong emotional tie between the two, and they are both quite sensitive and sympathetic towards each other. Both Victor and Walton are typical Romantic characters. Victor immediately understands Walton’s need for a close, spiritual friend. Walton is very aware of the terrible sadness that envelops his guest; he feels a kinship towards him, believing him to be a person of great intuition and judgment.

Walton and his new passenger are alike in other ways. They are both sensitive, compassionate men who began their respective adventures with lofty visions, excited at the thought of the great discoveries they intend to make. They were both willing to endure great hardship in order to achieve their goals, and they were single-minded in the pursuit of their objectives.

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