The Fire-Stealer: A Study of Robert Walton in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

725 Words Jan 26th, 2018 3 Pages
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus is a tale of humanity's obsession with creation and science, and continues to draw readers with the novel's many interpretations and heavy emphasis on the classic myth of Prometheus. In most interpretations and readings of Frankenstein, people often attribute Victor Frankenstein to be the “Modern Prometheus” in the story, as a creator of life. However, there is another “Prometheus” to be found in Shelley's novel: Robert Walton; This is the major connection between Victor Frankenstein to Walton. Walton's ambitious, almost obsessive, journey to the northern Arctic to bring the back unknown mysteries and knowledge, something that has been unavailable to mankind makes him Prometheus: The Fire-Stealer. Walton's Promethean attributes are first shown in the letter he writes to his sister, Margaret. He writes his sister to reassure her that he is in control and is fully prepared for his quest, though he is worried about his ship's safety and also the safety of his crew. Walton prefers his own 'manly' fantasy instead of the sensible and careful voice of his sister. To coerce his sister that his journey to the Arctic North is relatively safe, he romanticizes the Arctic as a wonderful place:
“There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible its broad disc just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There- for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators- there snow and frost are…

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