In Frankenstein, what does Elizabeth say in Justine’s defense?  

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Elizabeth had the very tough task of having to identify the locket that William had before his death, and then somehow ended up in Justine’s possession. This could have proved that Justine committed the murder, since there would not be any other reasonable way to explain how she ended up with the locket that the child was wearing prior to his death.

However, Elizabeth was clear in her position. She defended Justine and was very keen in expressing the reasons why she completely trusted and believed in her. Not only did she explain how Justine had a natural tendency to take care of people, but that she had nursed Madame Frankenstein during her ill days, and she was the epitome of love and joy for the entire family, especially to William.

In Elizabeth’s words:

For my own part, I do not hesitate to say, that, notwithstanding all the evidence produced against her, I believe and rely on her perfect innocence. She had no temptation for such an action: as to the bauble on which the chief proof rests, if she had earnestly desired it, I should have willingly given it to her; so much do I esteem and value her. (Frankenstein, chapter 8)

Therefore, Elizabeth pointed out Justine’s lack of motif, her impeccable behavior, and her natural tendencies for caring and loving people in order to try to convince the jury that there was no way nor reason for Justine to be found guilty of murdering William.

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