Preface (context of the story)
The novel begins with the author’s introduction, which states the context of the creation of the story. Frankenstein was created by Mary Shelley during a summer vacation. Due to unfortunate weather, her companions and herself decided to have a ghost story writing contest. Frankenstein was Shelley’s contest entry.
The story begins with various letters of Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret Saville, in which he tells her about his present occupation. He is set to commence the expedition he has dreamt about for so long, which is to reach the North Pole. In this letter, he recalls all he has achieve to finally be able to get to Russia, and to hire a ship and sailors. In fact, he has taken on many different jobs in the past to acquire the necessary knowledge to embark on such a journey; he went on various expeditions to the North Sea as a sailor, and spent his evenings studying subjects such as medicine and mathematics.
In this second letter, Walton tells his sister about the progress of his dangerous voyage. Most importantly he speaks to her of a constant need of his: the need of a friend, a companion that would understand him, share with him his sentiments, and with whom he could have discussions. Nevertheless, his mind is still set on his journey, and it is with great excitement that he looks forward to commencing this trip.
In this short third letter to his sister, Walton reassures her of his well-being and mentions that he finally has commenced his voyage. He is confident that he will achieve the goal he has set for himself.
In this last letter before the change in narrator, Walton writes to his sister about the fact that while his ship was surrounded with ice, his crew and himself observed a large individual on a sledge led by dogs. Later on, they found another sledge with a stranger that addressed them in English. The stranger was weak and cold, yet he would not embark the vessel until he knew they were sailing. (They were sailing towards the North) As the stranger was very weak, it took him two days to recover. He aroused great curiosity amongst Walton’s crew. Seeing as the man was still in a fragile state, Walton was the only one in contact with him. As time passed, the stranger and Walton became friends, and the stranger trusted him enough to start recollecting his story to him. At the end of this letter, the narrator changes and the stranger takes charge of the narrative.