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Who Is Justine in 'Frankenstein': Character Analysis Essay

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Justine Moritz is a young girl adopted into Victor’s family while he is growing up. She is the housekeeper for the family. Through reading the book her character is not acknowledged much mostly because she loses her life in volume one of the novels. She represents the suffering of injustice much like a martyr (CliffsNotes, n.d.). A martyr is someone who is killed because of their beliefs. Justine is taken care of by the Frankenstein family and is not looked at as a housekeeper but looked at as a part of the family. She was rejected by her own family, which was not her fault, but she then comes across Elizabeth who is Victor’s promised wife, and lets Justine continue working as a keeper. Through Justine's character, Mary Shelley addresses issues of equal treatment for domestic assistance and housing for those in need of assistance. Justine is a sympathetic character, because of all that she endures, she gives the reader a favorable response and empathy (CliffsNotes, n.d.). Being a servant in Geneva is different from being a servant in other places because they don’t treat you as though you are a servant by belittling you and taking away your dignity as a human being. Justine was very grateful for the life Frankenstein had given her and showed that in her kindness and willingness to work in their home. Through this novel, we see how each character looks at Justine. Elizabeth sees her as a friend, Victor sees her as someone that took care of him since he was a young boy and Frankenstein sees her as bate and easy to blame for the murder Frankenstein committed. Justine does not make many appearances in the book till chapter 8. But leading up to that we see a lot of why everyone loves Justine and why it was so hard to believe that she has murdered William, Victor’s little brother. When looking at Victor's point of view I see why he did not stand up nor take Justine’s side because then everyone will find out about the monster he made. Looking at the creature’s point of view, it was a smart move to pin the blame on Justine and plant the evidence while she was sleeping close to the crime scene. All in all, both Victor and the creature had selfish motives in order to not get in trouble themselves which ultimately put Justine in a very bad position unfortunately for her. Looking at this from a reader’s point of view the things Victor and the creature chose to do are and aren’t justified. They are because they helped two of the main characters continue on with their lives giving readers a story and they aren’t because they threw a woman under the bus that loved Victor’s family.

Justine’s biggest role in the book is the person set up by the creature for a crime she did not commit. William was murdered by the creature for screaming when he saw him. Victor did not believe that Justine committed the crime and knew exactly who committed it. Elizabeth also did not believe that Justine committed the crime, she even testified in court on behalf of Justine. Victor and Elizabeth are the last people to believe Justine committed such a crime. Victor recognizes the wrongdoing done by his pet, but Elizabeth ultimately puts belief in Justine's goodness. This highlights Justine's ethics and adds to the seriousness of Victor's grave foulness. Justine's settings for the pet's murder of William always refer to an animal's defining moment. He had never even felt the desire to do other people harm or to perform the horrors that he himself experienced on various honest people. During the trial, there is no evidence or other suspects that could be blamed for the murder since nobody knows about the creature which unfortunately left Justine being the murderer. Since the creature put a picture of William in Justine’s pocket when she was sleeping that was the only evidence left to lead the murder to her. This then left Justine in a bad position because the judge ruled her guilty and sentenced her to death. Since life was lost, and it was the life of someone that did not commit the crime and loved this family, it would be fair to say the creature and Victor are not justified in that way. When death is a part of it, that is when humans need to stop and take a step back and realize what is going on. Death is not something anyone should toy with and for that it should be said that for that reason Victor and the creature are unjustified.

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There is another way to look at this, to be in favor of the creature. The creature throws his actions into a new light at the stage when the beast speaks, as it may be. He explains that he was disregarded and shocked by Victor leaving him. He passes on how affected he was when he learned that his presence scares ordinary people. His tales of feeling for and helping the homes shyly show that he has a compassionate nature, and his story of protecting a little boy and getting a scream for his story shows his impulse to help those who are more fragile than himself which has most people surprised at how afraid people are of him. Nonetheless, even the description of William's murder by the pet gives rise to the persuasive defense that Victor's fierceness drove the beast to indifference which is not an excuse for using any and all means, but of course a valid and defensible explanation. It shows that even though he is a man-made creature, he still has feelings and emotions and it was just hard for him to show those feelings and emotions especially when Victor could leave him so easily. Victor did not care about the creature’s emotions and just ignored them, to be honest. Which led to all this mishap happening in the first place.

In conclusion, “the creature learns from the death of William that he can 'create desolation; my enemy is not invulnerable; this death will carry despair to him, and a thousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him', therefore inspiring the creature to further crimes.” (enotes, n.d.). Victor is a weak human who is motivated by the passion of trying to satisfy but failing and satisfying no one but himself which is so selfish, and that is why he fled his parents, rather than knowing what he was doing, he was eaten by the name he should be renowned for, when Justine is accused of murder, he stays silent as opposed to being capable, and when Frankenstein sacrifices him on his big day, he only cares of ensuring himself. Frankenstein is just a victim of circumstances, and he seems to be compassionate to any human he has met in his life. His life is filled with rejection, and as he depicts him as a character, even his maker does not invest heavily in him as opposed to taking a gander against him as a human being. In his battles to be a piece of the high society. This book really highlights what humans really think of big animals and why everyone is so afraid of them. It is the stereotypical actions of certain pets and creatures that put a bad name to others which is ultimately the humans' fault because they are the ones that poke and handle animals when they should be let free. Take Seaworld as an example. They have so many animals that are captured and kept in small tanks…no wonder you hear about attacks on trainers because at one point a creature will get fed up and do something crazy and wild. This is why Frankenstein and the creature's actions are justified because of how he was treated.

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