Contents Index


This, the second death in as many paragraphs, almost slips by without notice. But surely Walton might have been left a patrimony by his father and thus need not have been granted freedom from financial constraints by the death of a youth whom we may assume was of an age comparable to his. This unexpected source of his independence, means sufficiently ample to allow him to hire a crew and outfit an ocean-going vessel for a lengthy voyage, testifies to the instability of fortune, the constant threat of mortality, and even to how important are extended families in this narration. It also rather foreshadows later events in the novel, since Victor Frankenstein's cousin Elizabeth will also bear the cost of his success.