Contents Index

I confessed, that I might obtain absolution

Justine has confessed in order to procure last rites and entry into heaven after death. Yet, as a false confession cannot truly absolve a sinner, either Mary Shelley's protestant prejudice is showing, revealing a bias against or actual ignorance of Roman Catholic theology, or, more probably, she is quietly deepening her social critique to implicate the immorality of those who, entrusted with the spiritual lives of humanity, sell them out to the advantage of their own authority or of state power. It is also possible that she emphasizes the Catholicism of the Moritz household to mark a subtle prejudice against Justine in the minds of the Frankensteins, who seem to reflect the austere moralistic Protestantism for which Geneva was noted.