Walton's undertaking of this journey is a comment upon the larger society as well as upon his character: it is the outside world that is constantly urging its members to leap tall boundaries, that they might gain recognition and fame. Walton's values are definitely questionable. It does not seem that he really belongs on this mission, with so little experience, but he refuses to let this dream go. He is highly motivated and in his prime, a younger version of the weathered stranger, who had the same ideals at one point but has had to relinquish them. That Walton complains of not having peers to whom he can relate illustrates the most basic human need of companionship. Anything with an iota of humanness feels such a compulsion for friendship and emotional ties; anybody would be justified in going great lengths to find these things.