Tag Archive: innocence


Justice is innocent

– Bianca Lopez Munoz

In William Godwin’s piece, “Enquiry Concerning Political Justice”, Godwin expresses that in his opinion, a revolution shouldn’t be violent and resentful. It should be a be a peaceful event where wealth is distributed among everyone equally. An event where all social classes have a conversation, have a mutual understanding of what everyone wants, and unite. Instead of men taking advantage of each other’s distresses, and in self interest, seek momentary gratification, that they should love liberty, love equality, pursuit arts, and have a desire for knowledge. And through this men will sympathize with each other and therefore a revolution would be a tranquil and orderly phenomenon.

By definition or mutual understanding, Justice is fair behavior and treatment, it is moral righteousness. During revolutions people seek justice and do things in the name of justice, good or bad. When I went back to the parts of Frankenstein where Justine was accused, tried, and executed for the murder of William, as I was reading, I would replace Justine’s name with the word Justice and it was incredibly interesting to see how well some passages worked with the change of language. “A servant in Geneva does not mean the same thing as a servant in France or England, Justine… learned the duties of a servant; a condition which…does not include the idea of ignorance, and a sacrifice of the dignity of a human being” (66). Now replace Justine with the word Justice in this quote. Justice is a servant. Ignorance and the sacrafice of human dignity is not part of justice, like in England or France (where people were murdered and it was extremely chaotic and unjust). When Victor finally gets back to his father’s home in Geneva he tells Ernest, “You are all mistaken; I know the murderer. Justine, poor Justine, is innocent” (77). Again replace Justine with the word justice. Justice is innocent. The evil things like murder that people do in the name of justice actually have nothing to do with justice and it is just a way to defend their actions. During Justine’s trial, Elizabeth appeals for Justine and says, “when I see a fellow creature about to parish through the cowardice of her pretended friends…”(81). This again, goes back to people using justice as a tool to justify and not take responsibility for their wrong doings during revolution. I remind you that all of this is happening because Victor Frankenstein decided to bring to life, a creature, which killed his brother, which indirectly killed Justine. Victor know’s he holds some blame to the death of his brother but refuses to speak up about it since he fears people will think he is insane. Victor did what William Godwin thinks people should not do. Victor took advantage of Justine’s distress, and in letting someone else be blamed for the death of William, he found momentary gratification for his sins but it wasn’t too long before he became guilty of the death of Justine. The revolution of the creature shouldn’t be violent and resentful as are the actions of the creature and Victor. I believe these things could have been avoided if Victor hadn’t run from his creation. Had he stayed and like, Godwin stated, had a conversation and sympathyzed with the creature, things could have possibly has a more “natural and tranquil progress”(Godwin).

Justice?

Justice according to Goodwin would be taking in the principle of morality and truth and practice it within the community.”The cause if justice is the cause of humanity. Its advocates should be penetrated with universal good-will.” (789). When thinking about justice I think about receiving what is fair with the appropriate evidence. In the case of Justine in Frankenstein justice was not served. While reading Frankenstein I spent a majority of my time wondering who the next victim was gonna be. William was the first, and consequently Justine was the second. Justine holding onto her innocence defending herself was wrongfully accused of murdering William. Justine’s death represents injustice.” I commit my cause to the justice of my judges, yet I see no room for hope… I must be condemned, although I would pledge my salvation on my innocence.” (80).  Justice should stem from evidence and truth not from what the majority thinks or believes from lack of evidence. Justine had many people who knew for many years, knew her character yet denied to defend her in the court of law due to “fear, and hatred of the crime.” Justine unfortunately saw no more hope in fighting for herself, she thought ultimately that the only way to save herself was to convince herself that their “truth” was the only truth. ” In this we should give way to no discouragement.” (790). Justine was  discouraged to continue fighting for herself which goes against Goodwin’s words. “Truth is the most powerful of all causes.” (791). The truth was heavily ignored in the case of Justine. There are always more than one side to a story, Justine’s side was no heard.

-Dariana Lara

Christopher Martinez

 

 

Before I start this blog I want whoever is reading this to go to Thesaurus.com and find synonyms for the word monster. One of the synonyms is Frankenstein, however he is clearly not a monster in Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein. Whenever I think of Frankenstein all I imagine is a monster that kills and has no soul. I fell for the typical classification of Frankenstein being shown as malevolent. Likewise, the video for my blog is to show others the cliché that the monster is an ugly and a destructive monster.

Throughout the book, Mary Shelley describes the monster as a person who is innocent and is wanting to love someone. From the beginning of chapter eleven, the monster tells Victor Frankenstein his story up to that point. We learn from the monsters stories that he is an intellectual person who seeks knowledge about everything. The monster reads the books that Victor had in his jacket. These romantic books gave the monster a view of the world he lived in. He knew a lot what humans desired in life. The monster also looked for attention, but everyone seemed to be anxious and afraid to have his presence. Since no one wanted his companionship he accepted himself as an outcast.

I can conclude that at this point I am starting to feel as if Frankenstein is every student right now. Every student is curious to try learning new things and use them in the real world, while also seeking attention and friendships. I realized at this point that the real monster this whole time was the fantasy I had learned about the misunderstood monster.

 

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.