Volume 1: Letters 1-4 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Robert Walton hope to accomplish on his voyage?

2. How did Walton prepare himself for the expedition?

3. What did Walton read for the first 14 years of his life?

4. How old is Robert Walton?

5. Why did the ship’s master decide not to get married?

6. How far is the ship from land when Walton sees the gigantic figure in the dogsled?

7. How does Walton describe his expedition when his new passenger asks about the ship’s destination?

8. How does Walton feel about the man he rescues?

9. Why is the man Walton rescues traveling alone on the ice?

10. How does Walton feel about hearing his new friend’s story?

Answers
1. Walton wants to visit, and walk upon, a part of the world that has never been seen before.

2. Walton prepared by going without food and sleep. He also endured cold temperatures. He worked on whaling ships during the day, and then studied all night.

3. As a child and as a young man, Walton read his uncle Thomas’s books of voyages.

4. Walton is 28 years old.

5. The fiancée of the ship’s master loved another man. He let her go because he wanted her to be happy.

6. Walton believes he is hundreds of miles from land when he sees the dogsled.

7. Walton tells the man he is on a “voyage of discovery towards the northern pole.”

8. Walton says he loves him like a brother, and feels sympathy and compassion for him.

9. The man says, “To seek one who fled from me.”

10. Walton is grateful that the man will tell his story, but he worries that telling it will cause the man renewed grief.