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to undertake a voyage of discovery to the land of knowledge

Although Clerval seems lighthearted in his exaggeration, his phrasing resonates with startling irony. Not only does it play against Victor's obsession with acquiring knowledge at any cost, only just now having attained its fateful consequence, but the diction, so like the language of Walton's first letter (Letter 1.2), reminds us that Walton himself would not be an auditor of Victor Frankenstein's life story had not both of them been in peril of their lives in the Arctic wilderness.