What role do the women Caroline, Justine, and Elizabeth play in the novel Frankenstein?

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pippin1313 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All three women highlight Victor's shortcomings as a parent to his creation and his lack of morality and ethics (especially in regards to his dangerous pursuit of knowledge) throughout the novel.

Caroline is portrayed as a loving and caring mother who ensured that her children were well looked after and nurtured. Something that Victor never does for his monster who is "spurned". She sacrifices her life in the end by helping and caring for others.

Elizabeth is Victor's soul mate; "plaything" even at times. She is his perfect partner. While Victor possesses this, he never allows his creation the same rights, denying him his chance of happiness by destroying the female creation he had promised the monster. Elizabeth is also a paragon of virtue in the novel. She is gentle and sweet, caring more about others than her own welfare. She believes totally in Victor and it is possible that by not questioning him and his motives, she dies as a result.

Justine is the helpless victim of Victor's actions. The monster frames her for the murder of William and rather than guarantee her freedom, Victor allows her to be executed for a crime that he knows in his heart his creation committed. Justine is upheld as a loving member of the Frankenstein family, even though she is a servant. This demonstrates that Victor has been brought to treat others with consideration. He does not ever show this virtue to his monster.

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