Unlike Walton, Victor has friends. Two of them. Or at least, he did during his childhood. First, there's Elizabeth. Victor also has a friend named Henry Clerval.
Victor describes his idyllic childhood, which is a cue for us to begin use of the historical present.
As a brooding teenager, Victor develops an interest in science. Especially interesting to him is the old, not to mention discredited, field of alchemy. He's especially into some guy named Albertus Magnus.
This is like some kid getting into music and really liking old ragtime records from the 1900s.
Wait, scratch that, some hipster is probably starting a ragtime tumblr right now.
Victor realizes that science is very powerful, but possibly also destructive, when he sees a tree get struck by lightning. Hmm!