Frankenstein Volume I
Volume one of Frankenstein begins with a series of letters from a sea captain, Robert Walton, as he writes to his sister about his voyage to the North Pole. He is eager and passionate about his expedition when writing to his sister, however also feels loneliness. Upon his voyage he finds a man stranded on an ice ledge and recovers him. Curious about this stranger, Walton asks for him to tell his story. Walton’s narration ends and the stranger’s narration begin. The stranger is Victor Frankenstein, and he begins his story by describing his childhood and Elizabeth Lavenza, a childhood friend and her tragic events that led to her adoption to his family. Years later he leaves Geneva to attend a university at Ingolstadt, at the same time his mother dies from a Scarlett fever. During his stay at the university he parallels many of Walton’s characteristics, Victor becomes obsessed with his studies and has a strong passion for knowledge and science. He finds a fascination with the idea of the creation of life and begins to build a human body of his own, neglecting his family and friends. One night he finds himself waking up to his creation staring back at him. Startled, Frankenstein runs out of his house, and finds Henry Clerval his university friend and stays with him. Unfortunately, Frankenstein falls ill soon after for several months. As Henry nurses him to health, a letter is given to Victor from his father concerning his younger brother William, and that he has been murdered. Shocked, Victor departs for Geneva. He believes that person that killed his brother was the monster that he himself created. He soon finds out the next morning that, Justine, a family friend, has been accused of his brother’s murder.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein establishes in the first volume of the book of the importance of the pursuit of knowledge. She creates two characters that parallel similar characteristics and personalities. These two characters are Victor Frankenstein and Robert Walton. Both characters show great ambition and determination with their line of work. This ambition is derived from their strong desire for knowledge. In Walton’s letters to his sister, he believes that by finding a passage through the North Pole would greatly help humanity. Victor Frankenstein also believes that with his study and experimentation on the creation of life, would also benefit humanity.
However, both these men’s obsession with science is the cause to their loneliness. Walton writes to his sister that he is need of a friend during his voyage. Victor is lonely because his experimentations have taken over his life, neglecting his family, friends, and social life.
Shelley puts the pursuit of knowledge in a very