In Frankenstein, why does Walton want to take the journey to the north?

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein includes a series of letters which affect the events in the story. The first of these, written by an explorer named Robert Walton to his sister back in England, Mrs. Saville, is sent from St. Petersburg, Russia and discusses Walton's upcoming voyage to the North Pole. He reveals that he has spent six years preparing for and planning this trip, and that he plans to leave the following June. He will soon make a trip to Russia to find the right ship for the voyage and to finalize plans for the journey.

Walton recalls his father telling his uncle that Walton should not be a sailor. He also recounts his failure to make a career out of writing poetry. These are two motivations for his expedition: to prove his family wrong and to make up for his previous failures. He implies in...

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