What purpose is served by having Robert Walton tell Victor's story? Compare and contrast Robert and Victor's goals and interests.

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Through Robert Walton, Victor's story is filtered by an unbiased third-person narrator. Walton is separated from the action, so he can remain impartial in areas where Victor cannot. Walton's letters begin and end the novel, creating a frame for Victor's and the creature's narratives. In this way, Walton combines the most important qualities found in both Victor and his creature. He balances the curious yet arrogant nature of Victor with the sensitive side of the creature.

As an Arctic explorer, Walton, much like Victor, wishes to conquer the unknown. However, when he finds Victor near death on the icy, vast expanse of water, he listens to Victor's bitter and tormented tale of the creature. He postpones his own mission and glory to help a fellow man. This makes him reconsider continuing his own mission, if it would put his crew in danger. When the creature appears at Victor's deathbed, Walton fails to fulfill Victor's dying wish to destroy the creature. Instead, he does what Victor continually failed to do throughout the novel: he listens to the creature's anguished tale with compassion and empathy.

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