All three narratives are recounted in very similar language, which is quite elevated and rhetorical.

  • The monster has acquired his language from his reading of Plutarch, Milton and Goethe (see Literary context: The monster's reading).
  • Frankenstein is very taken by the significance of the work he is doing and tends to adopt a language that describes it in the highest possible terms.
  • It is notable that, although Victor uses a language of disgust to describe the monster, he never really abandons his exalted view of the work he had undertaken. This is very evident in one of the last letters of the narrative (that dated 2nd September) when he addresses Walton's mutinous crew:

‘What do you demand of your captain? Are you then so easily turned from your design? Did you not call this a glorious expedition? Not because the way was smooth and placid as a southern sea, but because it was full of dangers and terrors; because, at every new incident your fortitude was to be called forth, and your courage exhibited; because danger and death surrounded, and these dangers you were to brave and overcome. For this was it a glorious, for this was it an honourable undertaking. You were hereafter to be hailed as the benefactors of your species; your name adored, as belonging to brave men who encountered death for honour and the benefit of mankind. And now, behold, with the first imagination of danger, or, if you will, the first mighty and terrific trial of your courage, you shrink away, and are content to be handed down as men who had not strength enough to endure cold and peril; and so poor souls, they were chilly, and returned to their warm firesides."

Frankenstein, Walton's letter of 2nd September
  • Frankenstein's patronising contempt at the end of this passage is clearly intended to shame the crew into continuing with their voyage. Walton is moved by the speech, delivered ‘with a voice … modulated to the different feelings expressed … with an eye … full of lofty design and heroism' and assumes that his men are equally affected by Victor's words.
  • In fact, all Walton can really say of the men is that ‘[t]hey looked at one another and were unable to reply', suggesting that they are uncomfortable rather than moved. Walton fears that he will not win the loyalty of men ‘unsupported by ideas of glory and honour', and when they continue to insist on a return to England, he remarks that his ‘hopes [are] blasted by cowardice and indecision'.
  • Walton's own language here is similar to Frankenstein's, which is hardly surprising, since he shares many of Victor's aspirations, although his are directed towards literature and exploration rather than science (see also Characterisation: Robert Walton; Victor Frankenstein).
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