The beginning of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley begins with a series of letters. These letters are from Robert Walton to his sister Margaret Saville. The series of letters begins by informing Margaret of a journey that Robert is about to partake in. He reminds her of the past; when he read his uncles books about journeys, as well as his many passions in life; what he wanted to make of himself. He wrote that he had failed in most all that he had wanted to do, but that he was sure to succeed in his latest plan, so sail a wale boat through the North Pole, and come out the other side, in the North Pacific Ocean.

As the letters continue, Robert describes how he chose his crew, how he obtained his boat, and from where and when he will be leaving. He mentions that he has most everything he needs, except a friend. He has found himself lonely, not being able to share his excitements and griefs with another man. He has found all his crew to be excellent at what they are to do, but that they are horrible companions.

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When he leaves to the ocean he continues to send letters to his sister. He describes the sea and the situations he encounters on his trip Northward. He explains that at one time they got caught up in the ice, and that they saw a large man pulled by a team of dogs cross the horizon. This made them curious, for they thought they were far from any form of civilization and man.

The next morning the ice had broken up, and there was another man on a sled on a piece of ice near the ship. The man was in terrible shape and in need of help. His team of dogs was dead, all but one. Robert, being the captain of the ship, brought the man aboard. He found that the man was in rough shape and needed a lot to help him recover. Eventually he was well enough to go outside and talk to people.

Robert found that he was wrong when he told his sister that would not find a friend at sea. The man they had rescued turned out to be a good friend. Eventually the man was ready to tell Robert his story.

At this point in the book, the letters end and the chapters begin. The story begins with Victor telling of how his parents met, and how they had loved and cared for him as a child. The first chapter goes on to tell how Victors parents adopted a girl about the dame age as him, and that she was a gift to him. From then on, he says that Elizabeth, the girl they had adopted, was his personally, forever.