What may not be expected in a country of eternal light?

This quote comes from Walton’s first letter to his sister in England. It encapsulates one of the main themes of Frankenstein—that of light as a symbol of knowledge and discovery. Walton’s quest to reach the northernmost part of the earth is similar in spirit to Victor’s quest for the secret of life: both seek ultimate knowledge, and both sacrifice the comfort of the realm of known knowledge in their respective pursuits. Additionally, the beauty and simplicity of the phrasing epitomize the eighteenth-century scientific rationalists’ optimism about, and trust in, knowledge as a pure good.