Captain Robert Walton wanted to achieve great things in his life. He loved the idea of adventure he wanted to impress people and achieve fame. He wanted to be famous. The problem is, Capt. Robert Walton is kind of a wimp. The captain is used to calm seas of England and has no idea how freezing it can get north of Russia. It may have sounded like a good idea to go to the North Pole but in reality it is freezing cold and he surrounded by ice and frozen water. The voyage begins easily enough and he writes to his sister to show off and tell her she had nothing to worry about when he says in his first letter.

“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings” (1).

Walton had been an unsuccessful poet. He inherited money......... and could do as he liked. Walton admits to his sister that he could have lived a life of ease, but instead wished to find glory in the North Pole . Captain Walton has plenty of time to come up with his crazy ideas he is a failed writer after all. In his second letter you can tell he is ready to come home to England when he says

“It is true that I have thought more and that my daydreams are more extended and magnificent, but they want (as the painters call it) keeping; and I greatly need a friend would have sense enough not to despise me as romantic, and affection enough for me to endeavor to regulate my mind. ” (5)


When things get rough and his boat gets stuck in the ice Captain Walton comes up with the ingenious plan to save face with the world on his ridiculous voyage that he is dying to end. As he is stuck in the ice he comes up with a fabulous story of an insane scientists and a horrible monster. He writes to his sister and tells her the bizarre story of Victor Frankenstein and his creature as an excuse to sail back home without looking like a coward to his family. He writes many fictional letters then finally writes one last one to his sister and says

“I cannot withstand their demands. I cannot lead them unwillingly to danger, and I must return.” (225)

Conveniently enough everybody in the story is dead and of course it is a time before the Internet and television so his clueless sister will never know what an incredible coward her brother Captain Robert Walton really it is. The good news is maybe he is a bad poet but he has a great imagination and has shown himself to be a wonderful writer.