why was victor frankenstein in the arctic

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amymc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As with many frame stories, the novel begins at the end.  Victor tells the ship's captain, Robert Walton, that he was "seeking one who fled from me."  This ties with the sighting of a man of "gigantic stature" who was driving a dogsled over the ice.  Thus, Victor has chased the creature to the Arctic.

The Arctic also represents the exotic, and often isolate, settings often found in Gothic and Romantic literature.  This novel straddles the line here, with some elements of both genres.  The beauty and purity of the vast whiteness creates a romantic setting while the isolation and harshness of the elements lend to the gothicism of the novel. 

For Victor, this setting ultimately kills him; it is apparent that he cannot survive the chase any longer.  The creature may have desired to draw him away to a place without men, but he overestimated Victor's ability to survive the trip.