- Jun 2021
as I walk in the streets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves, and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my day dreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible; its broad disk just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual splendour.
A very pregnant passage that also only seems boring and uninteresting at first glance.
First point: feelings, "nerves," emotions are highlighted and a big deal is made about their communicability ("Do you understand this feeling?").
Next: this "scientific adventurer" is a "romantic poet"! ("Inspirited," "day dreams," "imagination," "beauty and delight.") No surprise then that a major theme of the novel is: the power of the imagination.
Unfortunately, he is also delusional: in mid-December, the sun would not be very visible at all! Why don't more people get this? Robert Walton is well-intentioned but also kind of a nut (IMHO)!