Whereas Elizabeth and Henry Clerval are fond of poetry and romance, Victor is fascinated by such mystical philosophers and alchemists as Cornelius Agrippa and Paracelsus, writers his father rejects as "sad trash" (I:).
But their pursuit of the elixir of eternal life continues to fascinate him, and a bolt of lightning striking a tree in the garden and reducing it to splinters fires Victor's imagination.
Frankenstein is little impressed with his appearance or manner, though, and has little interest in the mundane work of modern scientists as compared with the fantastic dreams of the alchemists.
Upon meeting another professor, however—Waldman—his attitude toward modern chemistry changes, and he begins to study with ardor, rapdily progressing in his knowledge.
From across the frozen sea, the sailors spot a gigantic figure on a dog-sled crossing the ice (I: L4:3), and later see a haggard, wild-eyed man who is pursuing him, stranded with his dogsled on an ice floe. This man, Victor Frankenstein, tells Walton that he is in pursuit of the figure they saw (I: L).