Frankenstein Questions and Answers
by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Why does Shelley use a frame story for Frankenstein, and what is the connection between Victor and Walton?

Shelley used a frame story for Frankenstein to highlight the connections between Victor and Walton, give alternative perspectives, create suspense, and make the story seem more believable, though it could also be said that the frame story calls the validity of the story into question. The connection between Victor and Walton is that they mirror each other, with their passion for science and isolation.

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,177 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

The frame story serves to highlight the contrast between Frankenstein, the mad scientist, and normal, decent society, as represented by Robert Walton. Though Walton has much in common with Frankenstein, as we shall see, there's no way in a million years he would ever entertain the kind of deranged fantasies in which Victor has indulged. In that sense, Walton acts as a foil to Victor, and the use of a frame story is an especially effective means of bringing out the personal characteristics that set him apart from the crazed scientist.

The employment of a frame story also serves to make Victor's actions and their disastrous consequences seem more real, less fantastical than they otherwise would be were they to be related in a more conventional narrative structure.

The main connection between Victor and Walton is that they are both quite lonely souls, isolated from society by their singular personalities and their single-minded pursuit of scientific truth. That is why they instantly connect...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 902 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Octavia Cordell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write1,088 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

timbrady eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write857 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

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