Frankenstein: The Incomparable Might of Women Essay

Frankenstein: The Incomparable Might of Women Essay

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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 e...


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...ight into women’s power as a formidable force that is often underestimated by men. Man’s insecurities and fear of awe-inspiring, strong women is clearly demonstrated between Justine and Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley’s exceptional minor character Justine maintains courage throughout her daunting trail and she gracefully endures a horrendous death. The powerful description of this strong young woman magnifies the gross wrongdoings of Victor Frankenstein and belittles his masculinity. Comparatively, Victor is exceedingly inadequate. His failure to display the qualities often associated as intrinsically male reinforces the vision of woman’s domineering command. Through the illustration of Justine’s unwavering fortitude and Frankenstein’s absence of bravery and justice, one can see that Shelley’s minor character is an affirmation of feminine strength above masculinity.

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