Although the frame story is exclusively set aboard Captain Walton’s ship in the frozen waters of the Arctic, the events of the story happen all over Europe, from Geneva to the Alps to France, England, and Scotland, as well as the university at Ingolstadt. Since there is a great deal of moving about in this story, and further, since exploration of the unknown (and that includes geography) is one of the over-arching themes, the setting is quite broadly constructed from a whole series of places rather than one singular location. As far as the frame of the story goes, we have some nice contrast between Victor telling his story on icy waters of the ocean and the monster telling his next to a fire in a cave. Think of this as a nice little setting sauce of dual images to compliment your Victor-monster duality chicken.
But what about everyone being stuck in the Arctic? In this text, you might have noticed 1) duality 2) religious references, and 3) mention of lots of old, dead people’s books like Paradise Lost. You can put this all together in the setting. Being stuck in ice sounds like a pretty hellish experience. We’ve never experienced it personally, but we can guess. So hellish, in fact, that it sounds particularly reminiscent of Dante’s description of the ninth and innermost circle of Hell in Inferno. To summarize: The ninth circle of hell is reserved for those who have committed betrayal. All the sinners are stuck in frozen water, up to their shoulders or necks or eyes or whatever depending on just how bad their betrayal was. Satan’s there, of course, stuck in the middle of the lake and pouting. The worst kind of betrayal, Dante tells us, is betrayal against your God.
If you weren’t on the same page as we are, we’re thinking the monster betrayed Victor (by killing his family) who is his personal God (because he’s his creator). With the book’s Christian influences, it’s easy to argue that Victor betrayed his own God by trying to play God himself (much like Prometheus betrayed the Gods via his creation – ooh!). And if you want proof that Shelley had Dante in mind, check out paragraph four in chapter five when she describes the monster as that of which "even Dante could not have conceived" (5.4).
You could keep going with this. What does it mean that Walton and his men are freed from the ice? Did Christ-like Victor die for everyone’s sins, purging the ship and crew of guilt and freeing them from responsibility? We’ll let you do the rest.