The reader almost immediately recognizes Walton and Frankenstein as versions of one another...Frankenstein is sent to teach Walton the error of his ways so that Walton will learn from the mistakes Frankenstein made and not be doomed to repeat them.
At first, Walton sees Victor as a poor, hapless creature, half starved and very nearly frozen to death. As he nurses Victor back to health, Victor begins telling him the tale of his life and the pursuit he is making. Robert realizes that Victor is the intelligent, sensitive, creative, and ambitious person he craved for companionship of whom he wrote in his letters to Margaret.
Robert does learn from Victor and decides to return home when faced with mutiny from his crew. Victor, however, probably would not have turned the ship around.
At first Walton calls Frankenstein a “divine wanderer,” shocked, however, that “his limbs were nearly frozen and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering.” When Frankenstein recovers enough to speak, Walton is impressed by his “gentle and conciliating manners” and that had this man not seemed so broken, he “should have been happy to have possessed [Frankenstein] as the brother of [his] heart.”