Essay on Frankenstein's Foil Characters: Walton and the Creature

795 WordsOct 31, 20104 Pages
Robert Walton and the Creature both contribute much to Victor Frankenstein's character. They are both strong foil characters in the novel. A foil character is a minor character whose situation or actions parallel those of a major character, and by contrast clarifies certain elements of the major character. Because Walton plays a role that both parallels and contrasts to Victor's in many ways, it appears that Robert Walton is the more effective foil for Victor Frankenstein. Walton's letters to his sister at the beginning of the story foreshadow the feelings and motivations that Frankenstein experiences when he first discovers the "the cause of generation and life." Both Walton and Frankenstein are adventures and obsessive with…show more content…
The feeling of loneliness and longing for a friendship links Walton, Frankenstein and the Creature together. Walton writes in one letter, "I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine . . .I bitterly feel the want of a friend."` Frankenstein hears the same desperate plea for friendship from the Creature when he says "everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy , and I shall again be virtuous." Unfortunately, Frankenstein never offers the same friendship to the creature as he does to Walton. However, Frankenstein did get a taste of the lonely friendless misery felt by Walton and the creature when he was sent to prison for the murder of Clerval. Walton is also a foil for Frankenstein when he and his crew find Frankenstein in such bad shape and yet the care for him so tenderly. "I never saw a man in so wretched a condition." Walton and his men carried him aboard, rubbed him down, wrapped him in blankets and fed him. Contrast this to Frankenstein's treatment of the creature. Instead of compassion or sympathy Frankenstein calls the creature a "wretch," "devil" and "the animal." When the creature
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