Frankenstein: The Incomparable Might Of Women

787 words - 3 pages

Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein there are many minor female characters. Some view these characters as the epitome of a delicate woman, passive and subordinate, which reflects the gender roles during the author’s era. This simplifying view of Shelley’s intricate female characters does not accurately represent the powerful and firm importance of their underlying voice. One of these characters is Justine Moritz who, although charmingly modest and gentle, is a testament to the dignified power of women. During her short appearance in the novel, Victor Frankenstein’s fear of her exquisite bravery is clearly depicted. In addition to this, the contrast between the two characters is distinct. Evidently, Victor fails to possess Justine’s courage and admirable traits which reveals the inadequacy of men when compared to feminine vigor. Mary Shelley’s minor character Justine is a subtle yet potent force who exemplifies the perseverance and strength of women by illustrating the considerable lack of such traits in Victor Frankenstein.

In Mary Shelley’s novel there is a defined contrast between the behaviors of Justine and Victor. Justine’s actions during her senseless trial undoubtedly represent the quiet, menacing strength of women and highlights Victor’s insufficient masculinity. When she is wrongfully accused of murder Justine displays natural, unwavering courage which is illustrated when Shelley writes, “ The appearance of Justine was calm. She appeared confident in innocence and did not tremble”(64). This statement refutes the absurd interpretation of Shelley’s women characters as being feeble and weak. It superbly demonstrates the calm readiness with which Justine challenges her unjust persecution and furthermore depicts her extraordinary bravery. This dignified quality represents woman’s perseverance. Although unmistakably guiltless of the brutal savagery, Justine elegantly accepts blame for the crime. Her noble acceptance of the vile burden illuminates Victor Frankenstein’s deplorable inability to claim responsibility. This is a treacherous death sentence for Justine. Victor’s reprehensible failure to confess his heinous construction of the true murderer is vividly revealed when he professes that, “his declaration would have been considered the ravings of a madman”(64). Frankenstein is loathsome and self-centered. He is vainly insecure and chooses to commit murder rather than be seen as delusional. Allowing virtuous Justine to die for his inexcusable wrongdoing is unforgivable and repulsive. One would imagine a man to accept responsibility; Victor Frankenstein is certainly not a man. His despicable behavior during the trial illustrates his cowardice and lack of morals....

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