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Mary Shelley

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers
Why is Walton trying to reach the North Pole?

Robert Walton is a well-to-do explorer from England. Like Victor Frankenstein, he has a great ambition to be a pioneer in the field of science—in his case, to be the first person to set foot on the North Pole and perhaps discover a northern passage to the Pacific. As he explains to his sister in a letter, anything is possible in “a country of eternal light.” By the end of the novel, Walton’s overwhelming optimism and pursuit to push the boundaries of science begin to appear somewhat naive and even dangerous.