How are Robert Walton and Frankenstein similar? How are Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein similar people? Anything, from aspirations, hopes and dreams, to their character.

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Both Victor and Captain Walton crave glory. They both long to make some valuable contribution to the human race and to be remembered forever, held up as heroes who accomplished something that no one ever had before. Captain Walton says to his sister,

You cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind, to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

He wants to make a real contribution but, just as important, he wants to be recognized for his contribution to the species. Walton even tells Mrs. Saville, his sister, that he has "preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in [his] path." When Victor learns of Walton's plans, he implores, "'Unhappy man!  Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught?'" Victor obviously sees the similarities in their temperaments: the fact that both are willing to risk life and limb in order to achieve their goals.

Further, Victor tells Walton, "You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been." Victor compares his seeking for knowledge and glory to being bitten by a snake, and he hopes that he can give Walton the benefit of his experience and prevent his new friend from the same sad fate.

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"I agree with you," replied the stranger; "we are unfashioned creatures, but half made up."

These are the words of Victor Frankenstein to Mr. Walton; shortly after Victor  arrives on his ship, Walton writes enthusiastically to his sister about how excited he is now to have a friend.  And, this idea of the importance of friendship, one highly valued by the Romantics, is stressed in Shelley's novel. 

Both Walton and Victor search outside themselves for something that they can discover, something monumental that will give them meaning and a sense of worth.


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They are both guilty of hubris which is extreme arrogance. Walton states in his letter to his sister that one of his goals for traveling to the Arctic is so that he can bring glory to his name; Victor hopes for the same for himself. Both men, because of their hubris, put others' lives in danger unnecessarily. Victor does so to the extreme but fortunately is able to convince Walton not to go too far with his excursion.

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