In Frankenstein, what are Robert Walton's feelings towards his guest?

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In his letter to his sister Margaret, dated August 26th, 17--, Walton tells her that he has listened to the "strangest tale that ever imagination formed." Continuing, Walton relates how absorbed he has been by this tale, and how impressed he has been by the "elevated and gentle manners" of Victor Frankenstein, who has touched him deeply. Because Walton has heard the history of Victor Frankenstein, he amends his statement in his fourth letter that his venture is important enough that a few lives are worth the cost--"a small price to pay for the acquirement of knowledge." Instead, he now tells his sister that

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In Letter II, of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Robert Walton admits to his sister that, while surrounded by men, he is alone.

I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy; and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil. I have no friend.

Robert Walton feels isolated from the rest of the men on the ship because they do not look at the expedition in the same way he does. For Walton, the expedition to the North Pole is one which is a lifetime dream. The hired men on the ship are only motivated by their paycheck. Essentially, the men and Walton have nothing in common.

When the stranger first comes aboard, in Letter IV, Walton is initially astonished at the man.

You may conceive my astonishment on hearing such a question addressed to me from a man on the brink of destruction.

Upon the stranger coming onto the ship, Walton realizes the horrible state the man is in.

I never saw a man in so wretched a condition.

A few days after the stranger comes aboard, Walton reveals his awe of the stranger. Walton is completely intrigued by the man.

I never saw a more interesting creature.

The crew, curious about the man, desired to ask the man questions. Feelings as though he needed to protect the stranger, Walton refused to allow the men near the stranger.

I had great trouble to keep off the men, who wished to ask him a thousand questions.

The conclusion of the August 5th section of Letter IV shows exactly how Walton feels about the stranger.

For my own part, I begin to love him as a brother; and his constant and deep grief fills me with sympathy and compassion. He must have been a noble creature in his better days, being even now in wreck so attractive and amiable.

Essentially, Walton is completely drawn to the stranger. Although he has yet to hear the stranger's story yet, something has drawn him to the stranger. His feelings for the stranger are best described as those similar to brotherly love. Walton wishes to protect, care for, support, and love the stranger.

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Just before Robert Walton meets Victor, he has written his sister about the need for a friend. He writes his sister:

"I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection."

Thus, when he meets Victor, Walton is astounded that thehalf-frozen man will not come aboard until he finds out Walton's ship is headed for the North Pole. During the next few weeks, Walton becomes fascinated with his guest. He writes:

"I never saw a more interesting creature: his eyes have generally an expression of wildness, and even madness; but there are moments when, if any one performs an act of kindness towards him, or does him any the most trifling service, his whole countenance is lighted up, as it were, with a beam of benevolence and sweetness that I never saw equalled. But he is generally melancholy and despairing; and sometimes he gnashes his teeth, as if impatient of the weight of woes that oppresses him."

As Victor continues to recover, Walton is even more fascinated:

"My affection for my guest increases every day. He excites at once my admiration and my pity to an astonishing degree."

When Victor promises to tell his story, Walton is both happy yet cautious because he doesn't want to upset Victor. However, Walton vows to "take notes" as Victor tells his story. By the end of the story, Walton expresses his admiration of Victor. He says,

"Must I then lose this admirable being? I have longed for a friend; I have sought one who would sympathise with and love me. Behold, on these desert seas I have found such a one; but I fear I have gained him only to know his value and lose him."

However, Walton does lose Victor. But he does learn from his story. Instead of focusing on science at all cost and pushing on towards the North Pole, Walton learns that his crew's lives are more important than scientific research and he turns back to England rather than risk his life, as Victor did, in the pursuit of knowledge.

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Initially, Walton is saddened and in despair because of his loneliness. On his voyage, he has, as he says "no friend," no one to be a companion and share in his pursuit. He feels the men of his crew are not scientific in their pursuits and he has no one who really understands him.

Upon meeting Victor, he is shocked that he will not immediately come aboard, but quickly grows to appreciate the man and be fond of him. He finds, in Victor, a kindred spirit—a scientist at any cost, it seems. He hears Victor's story of pursuing science to its terrible end and is disappointed that Victor was weak and let emotions end his experimentation.

In the end, however, Victor's words of caution change Walton's mind and soften him, saving the lives of the men of his crew. Walton is grateful in the end because he has truly found a friend.

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In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, How does Walton feel about hearing his new friend's story?

In his letter to his sister Margaret, dated August 26th, 17--, Walton tells her that he has listened to the "strangest tale that ever imagination formed."  Continuing, Walton relates how absorbed he has been by this tale, and how impressed he has been by the "elevated and gentle manners" of Victor Frankenstein, who has touched him deeply.

Because Walton has heard the history of Victor Frankenstein, he amends his statement in his fourth letter that his venture is important enough that a few lives are worth the cost--"a small price to pay for the acquirement of knowledge."  Instead, he now tells his sister that

it is terrible to reflect that the lives of all these men are endangered through me.  If we are lost, my mad schemes are the cause.

Thus, it is because of his warm relationship with Victor Frankenstein that Walton becomes more prudent regarding his venture, listens to his crew, and turns back, heading home.

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In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, How does Walton feel about hearing his new friend's story?

Of course, Walton does not hear all of the new friend's story until the end of the book.  After the 4th letter home to his sister, the rest of the book is the new friend's (Victor's) story.

However, in the fourth letter home, Walton talks a great deal about how his new friend makes hiim feel.  Walton has been a very lonely man and is very happy to have a new friend.  He says that Victor's problems fill him with compassion and sympathy because of how sad Victor is.

So what Walton knows of the story so far makes him feel a lot of sympathy for Victor.  He wants very much to hear the rest of his story but he does not want to push Victor too much.

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In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, How does Walton feel about hearing his new friend's story?

Walton is obviously skeptical about the story he has heard, but he is empathetic to Victor and his traumatized life.  The appearance of the creature at Victor's bedside proves the verity of the tale, and so it is understood that Walton believes what Victor has told him.  There is also evidence that Robert Walton has learned from the story since he does decide to turn back when his crew threatens mutiny.  Frankenstein, blinded by ambition, would not have given in to the wishes of his loved ones or co-workers when he was Walton's age.

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