Contents Index

the burning ardour of my soul

Having twice in his letters to his sister (Letters 2.5 and 3) assured her of his prudence, Walton here becomes carried away by his enthusiasm. In terming what impels him a "burning ardour," he utters what is almost a code word in the novel, designating a feature shared by the male protagonists whose value, like the other shared attribute of curiosity, is complexly ambiguous. He has already declared himself overly ardent ( Letter 1.2). Soon, we will observe the same problem in Victor (1.3.1).