What attitudes toward justice and the justice system are expressed in Frankenstein, and by whom?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Throughout Frankenstein, there are many examples and implications regarding justice and the justice system. Some of the most significant examples include the injustice that the creature experiences and the execution of Justine.

One of the most profound and significant examples of injustice involves the creature. At his very creation,...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Throughout Frankenstein, there are many examples and implications regarding justice and the justice system. Some of the most significant examples include the injustice that the creature experiences and the execution of Justine.

One of the most profound and significant examples of injustice involves the creature. At his very creation, he experienced injustice when Victor abandoned him. Furthermore, he continued to feel injustice as he was rejected by the cottagers and the rest of society, not because of his actions, but because of how he was perceived by humanity. As the creature himself states:

The guilty are allowed, by human laws, bloody as they are, to speak in their own defence before they are condemned. Listen to me, Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man!

Thus, the creature experiences much injustice because he is perceived by society as “not human” or less than human. Furthermore, it appears unjust that the creature cannot destroy life without being condemned, but Victor has the ability to destroy the creature’s life without guilt or recompense.

Furthermore, other examples of injustice are shown throughout Frankenstein, such as with Justine’s execution. Although the creature killed William, Justine was tried for the murder and convicted. Despite her innocence, the justice system failed and punished the wrong person for the murder. Justine herself expressed how this false blame was unjust and Victor echoed the sentiment as well.

Therefore, throughout the novel, there are numerous examples of how society is unjust and how the justice system fails. These two examples represent some of the most pivotal moments in the book. Due to this overwhelming theme, it is interesting to consider what point the author was making by including so many examples of injustice in the world.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team