What does Frankenstein tell Walton that Walton should learn from Frankenstein instead?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,198 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

When Walton meets Victor Frankenstein, Walton has ambitious desires as an explorer. When Victor hears of this, he reacts vehemently. He tells Walton that he should, instead of being ambitious, pursue the everyday joys of a simple life. Ambition, he warns him, will be his downfall. Victor proceeds to tell Walton his own story of ambition gone awry. He does this to try to convince Walton of the downfall that attempting to be "greater than his nature" brings to a person. He wants Walton to learn from his example not to sacrifice his life to an idea of greatness.

The novel is subtitled "the modern Prometheus." Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. Because the gods wanted to keep the secret of fire for themselves, they punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and having an eagle eat his liver. The liver grows back every night, so that every day Prometheus has to undergo the same torture. He overstepped his limits by taking what was only the right of the gods.

Likewise,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 567 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,563 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

McKinstry Rose eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,976 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial