The Incomparable Strength And Bravery Of Women In Frankenstein

812 words - 3 pages

Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein there are many female minor characters. Some view these minor characters as passive and subordinate, the epitome of a delicate woman, that reflect the gender roles during the author’s era. This simplifying view of the intricately complex female characters does not accurately represent the powerful and firm importance of their underlying, yet commanding, 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, it is clear Victor Frankenstein fears her for the bravery and strength she exquisitely exhibits through her unjust trial. In addition, the contrast between the characters is distinct. Evidently Victor fails to posses such courage and admirable traits reflecting the insufficiency of supposed male dominance as compared to feminine vigor. Mary Shelley’s minor character Justine is a subtle yet potent force who depicts the perseverance and strength of women by illustrating the considerable lack of such traits Victor Frankenstein.
In Mary Shelley’s novel there is a defined contrast between the characteristics and behaviors of Justine and Victor. For example, Justine’s actions during her unfair trial undoubtedly represent the quiet, menacing strength of women and highlights the insufficient masculinity of Victor. Justine, the wrongfully accused murderer of William Frankenstein,possesses unwavering courage which is illustrated when Shelley writes, “ The appearance of Justine was calm and 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 venerable quality is representative of women’s perseverance. Although unmistakably guiltless of the
brutal savagery, Justine elegantly accepts blame for the crime. Her noble acceptance for this vile murder contrasts Victor Frankenstein’s inability to claim responsibility and shows Frankenstein is a deplorable, disgraceful coward. The accentuation of his reprehensible failure to confess his grievous construction of the true murderer is vividly revealed when he professes his “declaration would have been considered the ravings of a madman”(64). Frankenstein is loathsome and self-centered. It is unforgivable and disgusting that he allowed kind, beautiful Justine to die for his inexcusable mistake. One would imagine a man to accept responsibility; Victor Frankenstein is not a man. His despicable behavior during the trail illustrates his lack of...

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