Tag Archive: equality


The Birth of a Monster

EXT. Victor Frankenstein’s Residence – NIGHT,

 

The year is 2018, raining, the scene opens with Victor Frankenstein, holding a glass of beer sitting on a chair that reclines with a screeching sound. He appears to be inebriated, but conscious. As the rain continues to pour, it worsens. Lightning strikes begin to emerge, beginning to distortion Victor’s sight. He appears to not be bothered by the noise and brightening light to fills the room. Victor senses he’s not alone as if someone is set to appear tonight. One lighting stroke brights up the room, to invisible proportions. The area clears, Victor, takes one more sip before looking onto his creations eyes. The monster is standing tall, looking down on Victor, with anger, seeming ready to attack. But he continues to stay still, calming down for seconds before opening dialogue.

 

THE MONSTER

You know why I’m here?

 

VICTOR

To be a pest once more and hinder my peace?

 

The monster pushes Victor’s drink from his hand to later deliver a slap to his cheek to come up to his senses.

 

THE MONSTER

Justine you fool, she’s dead.

 

VICTOR

She killed my son, what else did she expect to receive from me? Praise? Fright? Please, let me be in peace to sorrow.

 

THE MONSTER

You know for sure it was her?!

 

VICTOR

I know for sure because she told me. That’s good enough for me to get her arrested and taken to justice.

 

THE MONSTER

She didn’t do it…

 

VICTOR

*in anger* Bullshit.

 

Victor gets up his sit to serve himself some whiskey. Walking past the broken glass, unfazed by it. He gets a cut on his left foot, still unfazed by the damage is done, Victor returns to his seat and continues dialogue.

 

VICTOR

*sigh* I’m never wrong. Don’t ever doubt me when you know I’m right. *sips the glass of whiskey*

 

THE MONSTER

Do you think I’m here to fuck around and mourn the death of your son?

 

VICTOR

I made you, didn’t I? *sip again, the glass of whiskey*

 

THE MONSTER

*in anger* You destroyed me.

 

Frankenstein looks at the pictures that hanged around the home, most torn to shreds, The Monster, and now Justice is off the frames.

 

THE MONSTER

You had Justine prosecuted because that’s what you felt at the time, but I know you. You loved her. And don’t give me fucking excuses that you didn’t because she was more family than I ever was.

 

Victor, in silence. Takes the last sip of his drink and set the glass down. He continues dialogue.

 

VICTOR

Well, she was part of the family after all. Of course, I had to express my gratitude with unconditional love to Justine. It was only far. And how did she repay me? *voice rises* By killing my son!? Disgraceful. Just. Like. You.

 

THE MONSTER

Disgraceful?! Me?! You abandoned me when I needed you the most.

 

VICTOR

I never abandoned you. You just weren’t what I would’ve hoped for, so I let you be free.

 

THE MONSTER

You abandoned me, dad.

 

VICTOR

*slaps THE MONSTER, in exclaims in anger* How many fucking times do I have to tell you?! I am not your father. You’re just a mistake. Pieces of scraps. An imperfect creation. A monster.

 

The Monster pushes Victor in anger, setting Victor flying afar his chair and knocking it over. Victor, in pain, intends to stand back up. But the injured foot hinders him to do so. The rain continues to pour, and the lighting intensifies the scene.

 

THE MONSTER

Is that all I am to you?! A… *in tears* MONSTER!!?!

 

Victor, seems to be suffering from blood loss and becomes unable to stand up and is prevented from movement, he sits still, next to the knocked down chair.

 

THE MONSTER

I still am your son.

 

VICTOR

*in pain* I have no son, he’s dead now.

 

THE MONSTER

Dad… why do you hate me?!

 

VICTOR

I told you to not call me that. *grunts in pain* You don’t belong here. Get out of here, monster.

 

THE MONSTER

*tearful* I have a name.

 

VICTOR

No vile creature deserves a name.

 

The Monster grabs Victor by the neck. Not to strangle, but to pick him up and push him back to the knocked down chair. Dialogue continues.

THE MONSTER

You know my name. Say it.

 

VICTOR

Get out of my house.

 

THE MONSTER

*voice rises* SAY IT!!!

 

The Monster, again, picks up Victor by the neck and this time holds him against the wall, suffocating Victor.

 

THE MONSTER

*voice rises louder* SAY MY NAME!!! YOUR SON’S NAME!!!

 

VICTOR

*grunts in pain, losing breath* Will…iam.

 

The Monster strangles harder, and Victor begins to lose color, his eye becomes watery. Victor is dying.

 

THE MONSTER

*soft, but with anger* Say it.

 

VICTOR

*grunts of pain, losing breath* No faggot, is a son of mine.

 

The Monster strangles harder.

 

THE MONSTER

*louder, with anger* Say it!

 

VICTOR

*gasping for air, unable to speak a word*

 

THE MONSTER

*all loud as he can speak* SAY IIIIIIIIT!!!!

 

VICTOR

*a stroke of air enables him to speak one word* Sebastian! *eye rolls up his skull*

 

The Monster, now Sebastian, throws Victor across the room. Victor, still alive, tries to regain air but is unable to move. Victor is unable to speak. Sebastian looks down at Victor and speaks.

 

SEBASTIAN

Why does my way to express love anger you, father? It’s my life after all. I can never be like William, nor I ever will be. Don’t force me to be the perfect creation you always dreamed off.

 

Sebastian leans closer to Victor.

 

SEBASTIAN

*whispers to Victor* That angers me.

 

Victor regains the ability to speak but in a soft manner. Almost without a voice, he speaks.

 

VICTOR

*softly* You… are… not… my son.

 

SEBASTIAN

*chuckles* Never was I, huh dad? Don’t you worry, now that you have no sons, you can only worry about yourself. Oh, and Elizabeth too, not that she’ll matter anyway. She’s next.

 

Victor shocked, gains the strength to sit up and look upon Sebastian once more before he departs, he continues dialogue.

 

VICTOR

*weakly* What do you mean?!

 

SEBASTIAN

Oh nothing, just know that I’ll be around in the special moments in your life. Even when you don’t want me to. *walks away* After all, I am a monster to you. Might as well act like one. *chuckles*

 

VICTOR

*in anger* Did you kill my son?!?

 

SEBASTIAN

Never in a million years, dad. I loved him. *stops, pauses and turns slowly to Victor*But… maybe the monster did. *laughter* Love you, dad.

 

VICTOR

*in shock* WAIT!!!

 

The door closes, Sebastian is gone. Victor left alone and in pain. Rain still pour and the lightening subsides.

 

End scene.

 

REVIEW:

Mary Shelley’s novel is where the truth comes to be and where we begin to progress in our ideology of the monster. Sympathizing for such a creation that is not to be feared off. Because its intentions are to never hurt but rather to be accepted. Neglected by society and by his own creator, his murderous rage is simply engulfed by pure revenge towards the ones he felt for. And as the monster is left abandoned, we know that it’s not a threat. It, or as now we should mention, he never was.

The novel compels the truth behind the monster, his emotions, his awareness, and eagerness to feel love is what we, the readers now have learned through Mary Shelley’s novel. Although we are a numerous few, there’s still the vast majority that has yet to know the truth about the monster. Frankly, the monster was never the monster, to begin with. His image being portrayed through ridiculed merchandise for simple consumer satisfaction should be fixated to fully understand the novel’s true intentions. 

The whole Frankenstein novel is primarily contributed to the notion that if someone or something is made in the images one’s true perfection they’re are outcasted as an enigma of imperfection, but when in reality they never were in the first place. We use neo-pronouns for the individuals we apparently can’t understand what they are or decide to be, when ultimately we shouldn’t be asking that in the first place and should accept the indifference of society with open arms.

I decided to take into this more modern approach, that instead of having Justine executed, she is rather sent to trial for the misdeeds done from the monster. Including a scene where instead the monster is held in the shadows prepared to attack once again, the monster confronts Victor for the injustice done to Justine. Victor calls the monster a ‘faggot’ due to the fact that in this scenario, the monster was made a creation within Mary Shelley’s novel, he is one of Victor’s sons, whom of which was neglected for the fact that he was gay. William is still killed, the monster is still the cause of it, just with more of a modern scenario that can fit for both a start and a clearer understanding as to why the monster intends to haunt Victor for life. Victor ruined him. The monster, now Sebastian returns the favor.

– Stephen Muñoz

“… he was ugly then; but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” (Shelley 52)

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 2.35.33 AM.png

COMPOSITION:

All I could remember were the sounds; people yelling at the police force ahead of us, holding up signs that ranged from ‘LOVE IS LOVE’ to ‘WE’RE HUMAN TOO.’ There were thousands of us rallying, yet the stretch of people could make you think of a much, much bigger crowd than just that.

I was one of the front pusher for the protest, holding a sign of my own as well. “Love! Trumps! Hate! Love! Trumps! Hate!” The mantra had turned from a chant into a screaming match, the police officers owning a mantra of their own to battle ours back.

“Just go home, you scum! This won’t make any difference, no matter how long you stay out here!” One particular officer snarled, before landing his impatient gaze onto me. I stared back at him as I continued to scream, to cry out for Justice from our government, as the officer took a small but menacing step towards me. “All you are is a freak. A goddamn freak of nature, you hear me?” I averted my eyes from him as he spoke, yet that only seemed to spur the man further. One more step towards me, towards us. “You’ll never fit in with society, you ugly piece  of human garba-”.

He was cut off as another protestor beside me shoved him back, a spunky-looking girl with chopped hair dyed as blue as the afternoon sky. While she did so, she continued to chant, her eyes holding a challenge towards the officer. He smiled wickedly. “Oh, you know it’s true. YOU ALL KNOW THAT IT’S TRUE! YOU DON’T BELONG HERE WITH US, YOU MONSTERS! LEAVE US BE! YOU’LL NEVER BE A PART OF SOCIETY WITH US!” The stranger pushed the officer once more, much harder, and knocked him to the ground.

Immediately after the girl shoved him once more, all Hell seemed to break loose. Suddenly all of the officers surged forward, their fiberglass shields raised and thrust into our faces, forcing us back as they helped their fallen man. Out of the corner of my eye. I could see one policeman push his shield so hard into a man’s face that it seemed to break his nose, blood gushing downwards at a nonstop. Shouts continued, but they changed from our mantra into shouts of fear as protestors were forced backwards. Someone linked their arm into mine, and in a daze of confusion I swung my attention to my side. There she was, standing like a beacon of hope for everyone around her; the girl with the blue hair, a triumphant smile planted on her dark-painted lips. She shot her eyes at me and winked, her smile growing larger. “Don’t even think about listening to them. We’re just as human as them, if not more.” She swung her attention back to the scene in front of her. “WE’RE HUMANS, TOO! WE’RE HUMANS, TOO!” In her other arm, another person was linked, then another, and another, until a wall of us were standing up against a wall of them. Even my other arm became captive to the cause, and I soon found myself shouting along with everyone else, begging for our voices to be heard by not just the force ahead of us, but the entire world; “WE’RE HUMANS, TOO! WE’RE HUMANS, TOO!”

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 2.37.39 AM.png

REVIEW:

In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, readers see the constant rejections from society that the creature must endure, as well as name calling such as “demon”, “monster”, and countless other terms. Although this novel was written in the 19th century, those elements are still present today. For my creative writing project, I decided to use the setting of an equality protest. The reason why I did so is because of the backlash that the protestors receive, not only from the police force, but also from pedestrian viewers and others who watch on a glass screen in the safety of their own homes. Instead of sticking to an exact scene in the book, however, I took the liberty of basing my story on a quote, which can be found in Chapter 5, after Frankenstein has created the creature; “… he was ugly then; but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” (Shelley 52) This quote not only embodies the first rejections made towards the creature in its brief moments of innocent life, but also portrays the complete and utter helplessness that the creature is forced into. The creature, barely coming into existence, tries to welcome his “father”, Victor Frankenstein, by reaching out to him while he is lying in his bed, causing Frankenstein to panic for his own safety instead of trying to incorporate his experiment into society properly. This rejection causes the spur for the rest of the novel, from the creature learning life from a distance to the multiple murders committed. If it was not evident in my story, I had made a twist on the tale by creating a “happy” ending, with people rising up together instead of apart, in order to fight for what they believe is right and just.

– Jody R. Omlin

(SIDE NOTE: I do have a different version of Frankenstein that I am quoting from, so if you cannot find the passage on page 52, don’t worry! It is found in Chapter 5, when Victor awakens to find his creation staring down at him and smiling. :))

The Activist

 

Related image

Christopher Martinez

Throughout the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley there is signs of migration. Safie, the daughter of a merchant, seems to want the feeling of family and unity. Safie comes from a Turkish background and she migrated to leave the political problems. With this in mind, there is a connection between the monster itself and Safie. They both seek shelter and just want to be accepted for who they are. In addition, there seems to be evidence of discrimination against migrants in the book. Safie’s father was sentenced to death in Paris for a crime that he didn’t commit. Clearly, this shows the bigotry and separation of class and race in the book. Likewise, Frankenstein experiences the same thing as Safie. He sees discrimination all around him and even the way that Victor describes the monster shows the ideologies people have against people that are ‘different.’

When the monster gave Victor the letters by Safie and wanted Victor to know his tale through another person’s words, there was a sense of connections. In the story, Victor is very closed minded with the looks of others. He finds certain looks superior. We can see this when Victor says, “His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same color as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (60).

Furthermore, the monster seems to try to tell Victor to look through his eyes. The monster tells Victor that he has figured out the truth on his own and has taught himself about the world he lives in. He tells Victor, “These wonderful narrations inspired me with strange feelings. Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base?” (108) The monster is questioning the ideas humans have about each other. Frankenstein doesn’t seem to understand why are humans so smart, yet can’t see everyone as equal. This is what stood out! It is as if Frankenstein is an equal rights activist!

In the Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, written by William Godwin, he demonstrates to the reader that the use of force or violence is no longer a good tool, instead, nonviolent protest is the best form of combating what is “wrong” to attain justice in order to eventually have happiness. This belief can be seen in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this similar message can be seen manifested when the death of Justine happens. In this scene when Justine passes away it can be interpreted as the death of justice. This can be interpreted because it demonstrates how violence will not achieve any good for the rest of the people and will only bring harm.

There is a certain scene on page 83 of the novel in which Elizabeth asks “why do you kneel if you are innocent?”. The meaning of this quote is beyond what it describes, it shows how Justine is truly innocent and pure. All people believe in justice, however, Justine is experiencing injustice for being accused of a murder that she did not commit. Moreover, it can be seen that the blame for Williams death takes a toll on Justine because eventually, she starts believing that she is the monster. Similarities can be seen in this scene and the French revolution because it causes the reader to start understanding whether something is right or wrong. While people decide to fight and advocate for what they think is correct and Godwin himself demonstrates that violence is not the best option, rather peaceful revolution is the best way to handle certain situations. As demonstrated by Godwin’s beliefs about violence, the violence in this story comes from the actions committed by the creature and eventually leaves Victor in a state of sadness. In a way, the creature can mirror the people while Victor is the monarchy in comparison to the French revolution. Resorting to violence as the people did allows for violence to spring from these actions which eventually destroyed the sense of justice. Godwin’s position or belief can be seen through Justine’s death, the violence resulting from the accusations allowed for injustice to come about and become the destruction when attempting to reach a peaceful and happy conclusion.

By: Daniel Olmos

By Jade Graham

In a trial, there is the often used phrase, “Innocent until proven guilty.” but more times than not the phrase is flipped. In Frankenstein, there is Justine’s trial where she confesses a lie. Justine did not commit murder. She knows she is innocent but is become with guilt. She accepts her fate. Why? She fears she will go to hell after she dies, so there is a sense of moral within her.

Mary Shelley’s mother Mary Wollstonecraft was a believer in the idea of both gender and social equality. Justine, a young woman who is a servant of the Frankenstein household. That is her rank, as a female servant who needs help from others. There is not equality in Frankenstein, Justine is just one example of that. In the Frankenstein time period, women were expected to do what they were told and keep opinions to themselves. An innocent life was taken and because Victor did not speak up, Justine was sentenced to death. He is an upper-class man who has created a snowball effect. Justine’s death is just a part of the snowball that occurred. She was never meant to be a part of a trial or be killed. Justine, her name is close to the word justice. People have different views of what justice is. What is considered right after such as terrible wrong has been committed. There is the judge’s opinion and public opinion. Victor did not help Justine out of fear and cowardice.

The quote, “I leave a sad and bitter world; and if you remember me, and think of me as of one unjustly condemned, I am resigned to the fate awaiting me.”  is a note on how the world can be cruel (83). Justine believes the world has turned negative, the words sad and bitter are examples of someone who is broken. How the world can be cruel and accepting of someone’s fate where they die for a crime not committed. Justine did deserve justice, but in the end, she was killed like many others. Others like Elizabeth who tried to help Justine when she was at her worst. It is because of Victor that Justine (and all the others) died. From the moment Justine was suspected with William’s photograph, she is guilty.

Added in class: Going back to the idea of being a woman, Justine can be considered pretty to admire. The opposite view of the creature who puts William’s picture to frame her. He has anger, resentment, and desire for revenge. The creature is made to be beautiful, yet turns out terrifying and unexpected. People are scared of the creature and because of that he knows human behavior. He decides to frame Justine and knows what will happen because of his actions. This is the cruel world that they (Justine and creature) both experienced.

by Steven Gonzalez

In William Godwin’s  Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793), he contends that equality and justice in a society are eminently appealing and that the people within a society should look to achieve equality, not through the use of violence, but through peaceful means. Godwin admonishes the use of violence proclaiming, “Let us anxiously refrain from violence… The cause of justice id the cause of humanity. Its advocates should be penetrated with universal good-will.”(pg.789) Godwin notes that a society can achieve this ideal notion of equality and justice among all people through the individual’s focus on reason, tranquility, and the tireless pursuit of truth. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the character Justine personifies this idea of an “individual focus on reason, tranquility, and truth” as a manner to achieve equality and justice from the perspective of the reader. Consequently, upon Justine’s death, the ideal notions of equality and justice are eradicated within the society of Geneva along with her as a result of the lack of reason, tranquility, and truth expressed in her conviction and execution. Justine’s death, used to symbolize the death of justice in the novel, serves as a perfect exemplar for the consequences that arise from a person’s disregard for reason, tranquility, and the pursuit of truth.

 

Initially, Elizabeth introduces Justine into the novel in a letter to Victor by describing Justine’s past and her upbringing. Then, Elizabeth compares the republican institutions between France/England and Switzerland: she does this to convey the smaller distinction between people of different classes. She emphasizes this difference noting that “there is less distinction between the several classes of its inhabitants; and the lower orders, being neither so poor nor so despised, their manners are more refined and moral.”(Shelley 65). Additionally, Elizabeth further goes on to describe how Justine isn’t seen or treated as an inferior to the rest of Geneva because of her lower socio-economic status stating, “Justine… learned the duties of a servant, a condition which, in our fortunate country, does not include the idea of ignorance, and a sacrifice of the dignity of a human being.”(Shelley 65). Next, Elizabeth describes the righteousness of Justine’s character calling her the “most grateful little creature in the world”. Observing this through the lens of William Godwin’s Enquiry Concerning Political Justice allows us to see the direct correlation between the benevolence of Justine’s character and the equality she experiences within her society. Following William’s death, we see a shift in Justine’s character and consequently, a shift in how society views Justine just like Godwin would predict. Justine begins to abandon her dedication to reason in her studies, tranquility in her demeanor, and truth in her statements and so society begins to see her as a wretched below human individual accusing her of murdering William. This is most evidently depicted in the lines, ” I did confess, but I confessed a lie. I confessed, that I might obtain absolution; but now that falsehood lies heavier at my heart than all my other sins… In an evil hour I subscribed to a lie; and now only am I truly miserable.”(Shelley 82). It seems that even Victor Frankenstein at this point seems to see her as being inferior referring her to her constantly as “poor victim” with a pitiful almost patronizing tone. It seems incredibly ironic that Victor, with the power to stop Justine’s death through truth, decides to let her die a violent death while simultaneously grieving and lamenting, ” I, the true murderer, felt the never-dying worm alive in my bosom, which allowed of no hope or consolation … Anguish and despair penetrated into the core of my heart, I bore hell within me which nothing could extinguish.”(Shelley 83). Finally, Justine dies because of Victor’s deviation from reason, tranquility, and truth and Victor Frankenstein acknowledges this lamenting, ” I beheld those I loved spend vain sorrow upon the graves of William and Justine, the first hapless victims to my unhallowed arts.”(Shelley 84).

Ultimately, Godwin’s solution for achieving equality through the individual’s pursuit of reason, tranquility, and truth was evident as being correlative but not necessarily causative: There happened to be equality and justice when Justine expressed a pursuit of reason, tranquility, and truth but not necessarily because of her expression. One idea I found interesting  was Elizabeth’s introduction of Justine in her letter because even though she describes how Justine is not seen as inferior, she herself uses patronizing and condescending language to refer to her, often calling her “little creature”, and “poor girl” perhaps indicating the inevitable lack of equality in a seemingly perfectly equal society. On this point is where I ultimately disagree with Godwin, not on his methods of achieving an equal society but simply whether an “equal” society is eminently desirable in the first place. In a truly equal society, there is no variance in class, in politics, in character, and most importantly in ideas. Godwin even mentions this idea and even champions it stating, ” Each man will find his sentiment of justice and rectitude echoed by the sentiments of his neighbors.”(Godwin 794) This seemingly homogenous authoritarian society is not ideal in any definition of the word. Moreover, we should seek to achieve the highest order of equality of opportunity and to preserve the dignity of all human beings, but we as a society should not expect nor desire the homogenous equality of outcome which Godwin seems to idealize as his final goal. Ultimately, the idea that subscribing to an easy to follow, simple ideology in order to solve nuanced inequalities within a society is reckless, irrational, and untenable.

 

 

Equality for All

Image result for class injustice in society

Christopher Martinez

As citizens in a society, we tend to have the divisions in gender and class. There are laws in the nation, but sometimes the ones with power can find the loopholes to innocence (just like in the French Revolution). In Mary Wollstonecraft’s writing, A Vindication of the Rights of Men, she strongly makes a stance for gender and class equality. She makes several points about her views such as in the quote, “To say the truth, I not only tremble for the souls of women, but for the good-natured man, whom everyone loves” (48). She wants to create the idea where there is no advantage in society. In other words, she stands with the common citizen during the French Revolution.

Frankenstein shows the injustice of class and gender within Mary Shelley’s time. When Justine gets convicted of the murder of William we see the injustice that is happening. It is as if Justine is representing the continuation and sacrifice of the French Revolution by the common man in the quote, “Farewell, sweet lady, dearest Elizabeth, my beloved and only friend; may Heaven, in its bounty, bless and preserve you; may this be the last misfortune that you will ever suffer! Live, and be happy, and make others so” (84). The way Justine sounds when she says goodbye is as if she is making a sacrifice for the happiness of her family. In addition, there is a motif of courageousness in a woman in this part of the story. Justine isn’t afraid of her death. Mary Shelley is showing the strength in Justine. Likewise, Mary Wollstonecraft expresses the strength of a woman in her writing. She states, “If beautiful weakness be interwoven in a women’s frame, if the chief business of her life be (as you insinuate) to inspire love, and Nature has made an eternal distinction between the qualities that signify a rational being and this animal perfection, her duty and happiness in this life must clash with any preparation for a more exalted state” (48). Mary Wollstonecraft dedicates this part in her writing to state that a woman is equal to everyone; in this way, there can be a prosperous state. The idea of a woman standing up and not being afraid of anything is pretty clear. Finally, Mary Wollstonecraft dismisses the idea of the common nature of woman. She says words like, “little, smooth, delicate,” (47) aren’t the respectful words for a woman for she is powerful! Connecting this to times like today, it is as if there is no change in how we see a man, woman, and class. The Revolution for change hasn’t ended!

Melanney Giron

In Edmund Burke’s Relations on the Revolution in France, he believes that the beauty of equality and humanity work hand in hand to destroy nature. As he talks about the French Revolution, he refers to it as a “…liberal refinement in the intercourse of mankind,” (71). Burke’s interpretation of the revolution creates a sense of relation to Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein. In the novel, the second death committed by Frankenstein’s creature was Justine, a girl who, after her family died one after another, stayed with Victor’s family. Burke believes that nature cannot occur without order, alongside social institutions, especially when people are wrongfully accused. Burke wrote, “[The French Revolution] unhappily was left unfinished, in this great history-piece of the massacre of innocents,” (73).

In the novel, poor Justine was wrongfully accused of murdering young William, rather than to continue fighting the social institution of the justice system, she “…confessed a lie. [She] confessed, that [she] might obtain absolution; but now that falsehood lies heavier at [her] heart than all [her] other sins,” (83). In the eyes of Burke, Justine’s death was not only based off of a lie of her own making but he noted that, in humanity, women “…will save herself from the last disgrace, and that if she must fall, she will fall by no ignoble hand,” (75). The way I analyzed Burke’s ideas of chivalry and order was based on what he saw it as: women trotting behind the mistakes of a man. Based off of Burke’s understandings in his writing, both the French Revolution and the representation of Justine’s death in Shelley’s novel are products of the beauty of sentiment.

The wrongful execution of Justine serves as a symbolic backdrop for the corruption of good. What Justine represents is a pure, well-intentioned spirit who, when constantly pushed to a corner by negative outside forces, cannot help but cave in. She mentions to Elizabeth how she did confess to killing William, but only out of duress and fear; “ever since [she] was condemned, [her] confessor had besieged [her]; he threatened and menaced, until [she] almost began to think that [she] was the monster that he said [she] was” (Shelley 83). What we have here is a clear case of someone who, while innocent and well-intentioned, could not think ahead to see just exactly what she was sacrificing by letting the negative attacks affect her. The sheer gravity of a murder charge, with its punishment of execution, eventually became secondary to the vicious corruptive influence of her confessor, in Justine’s mind. She took his words to heart more than the truth that lay within her due to just how convincing and insistent he was. The confessor even started to “threaten excommunication and hell fire in [her] last moments, if [she] continued obdurate” (Shelley 83). Punishment in the afterlife for something she didn’t do, but something that her confessor convinced her to believe. Such compelling words, added to the fact that there was “none to support [her]; all looked on [her] as a wretch doomed to ignominy and perdition” (Shelley 83-84). This just demonstrates the sheer power of the people around you: she was swayed to conform to what everyone else believed, despite the complete falsehood of such beliefs. She, as a result, lies to herself, and her pure innocence is ruined.

This is a strong corollary to the death of justice and ideological purity during the French Revolution. Good intentions and aspirations were what fueled the start of the Revolution, with the rise and empowerment of the poor, downtrodden Third Estate and the subsequent goal of securing equality and justice under the law. William Godwin aspires to see this occur as much himself, as he states in his 1793 Enquiry Concerning Political Justice: “To the general mass of the adherents of equality… if there be any force in the arguments of this work, we seem authorized to deduce thus much from them, that truth is irresistible. Let then this axiom be the rudder of our undertakings” (Godwin 789). Note how very non-forceful and non-threatening he is with stating his personal opinions by stating how there is, above all, only one “force” in his work which calls for special attention. This tone of his indicates how he wants the reader to be eased in comfortably to his opinions. His conviction that “truth is irresistible” is undoubtedly a tenet that justice strives to uphold, and a tenet that poor Justine could not uphold herself. She was swayed by negative outside forces, and so was the Revolution itself. His hope that truth’s irresistible nature would lead to it always being championed and protected, that it would be the “rudder,” the fuel to people’s fire, sadly is not the case, due to simple human fallibility. Sure, truth as an ideal should in theory always be defended no matter what the circumstances are, but circumstances definitely do matter. Justine’s circumstances– she was lonely, with everyone around her condemning her about what she allegedly did, and with a corruptive confessor by her side, constantly feeding her lies– shook her inner core, to the point where she could not help but be swayed in the end. The same goes for what happened to the French Revolution: the noble ideals championed at the outset of the Revolution soon gave way to extremist influences, with truth and justice eventually being discarded, giving way to tyranny, with the Reign of Terror being a good example of that. Proper truth and justice, and those championing it, were drowned out by the surge of radicals. The inner core of the Revolution was thus corrupted, much like poor Justine, and Justine’s as well as Godwin’s best intentions were left unfulfilled.