“a cold northern breeze”…”the sun is for ever visible.”
Pathetic fallacy – typically gothic weather to start with, contrasting with the sunny weather later in the paragraph.
“These visions faded when I perused, for the first time, those poets whose effusions, entranced my soul, and lifted it to heaven.”
Hyperbolic language. The way Walton speaks is similar to Frankenstein, which shows how similar they are and supports the Doppelganger theory.
“If I fail, you will see me again soon, or never.”
More hyperbolic language. We see through this, though, how far Walton is willing to go in the pursuit of knowledge and it prepares us for the character of Frankenstein.
“I have no friend, Margaret”… “I bitterly feel the want of a friend.”
Kickstarts a theme that runs throughout the novel – the need for companionship.
“trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful.”
Walton has conflicting feelings about the unknown. The word “trembling”, though, suggests he has a passion for it.
“No incidents have hitherto befallen us.”
Builds up tension before the incident that will occur.
“What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?”
Walton here, overlooks God completely. This foreshadows the rash ambition of Frankenstein, later in the novel.
“the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature.”
Creature is introduced for the first time – identified as an “other”?
“sometimes he gnashes his teeth;”
Frankenstein is described here in a way which could be either an animalistic description, or a description of great sorrow.
“How can I see so noble a creature destroyed by misery, without feeling the most poignant grief?
Theme of obsession is introduced – Walton has only known Frankenstein for just over a week, but he treats him like a hero.
“ ‘Do you share my madness?’ ”
Frankenstein speaks these words to Walton. He and Walton clearly share similarities, especially in the area of ambition and pursuit of knowledge. The fact that Frankenstein uses the word: “madness”, shows that he has come on a long learning journey and considers the pursuit of knowledge dangerous, at least to an extent.
“My family is one of the most distinguished of that republic.”
Proud background. Contrasts to the misfortune the whole family suffers throughout the book.
“The innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by Heaven.”
Victor is as helpless at birth as his own creation is later. The difference is that Victor’s parents look after him, whereas Victor abandons his creature entirely.
“My more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only.”
Victor is possessive. The quote hints at incest, although technically Victor and Elizabeth are not blood-related siblings.
“There was a show of gratitude and worship in his attachment to my mother.”
Role of women is admired within the area of domesticity, marriage, etc.
“He strove to shelter her as a fair exotic is sheltered by the gardener.”
Idea of a…