Warren Montag analyzes the novel in a contextual historicist approach where the monster is represented as the industrial working class, or the proletariat. Montag argues that it would be simply foolish to assume that Frankenstein had no historical implications or significance. During the 1790s, the onset of industrialization had begun in England and the emergence of organized capital, which exploited labor and workers, was a significant turning point in history. From thereon, humans were no longer at the mercy of “nature” but ruthless capitalist elites, which “conjured up a monster that, once unleashed, could not be controlled” (pg. 386). This is Montag’s basis for the Marxist analysis of Frankenstein, the creation of the exploited, industrial working class at the behest of capitalism, which would turn on its very creator for the misery and hardship it had to endure. The creator, Frankenstein, becomes a slave to his creation, the monster. As Montag wrote accurately, “The iconic reversal of Frankenstein’s position is perhaps clearest when his creation, far more powerful than he, calls him slave” (pg. 390). Montag even goes further to say, “The very logic of capitalism has produced the means of its own destruction: the industrial working class, that fabricated collectivity whose interests are irreconcilable with those of capital and which is thus rendered monstrous in the eyes of its creators” (pg. 388). Even though Frankenstein has created the monster, he regards it as alien, something completely inimical and foreign to him, creating division and furthering antagonistic social forces, which will eventually lead to his own ruin. As Montag poignantly states, “Utterly absent from the narrative is any description or explanation of the process by which the monster was created” (pg. 392). The creation of the monster is accompanied with no details, no insight whatsoever. This gap in the narrative reveals the alienation and the detachment with which products are made, and how the monstrosity of capitalism has allowed us to experiment in scientific endeavors without truly understanding the consequences of our actions.

On page 395, Montag states that the creature “is therefore not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability.” I couldn’t agree more with the crux of Montag’s argument because the fear and horror the creature evokes is central to the conception of a bloodthirsty proletariat bent on exacting revenge. The inability of representing the proletariat is unequivocally central to Marxist analysis because the oppressed class essentially represents any social force, which is cognizant of its own interests and acts to rise up against its persecuting elite. While this traditionally denoted the working class, the analogy has been extended to include racial, gender, and sexual definitions. The creature is monstrous only in relation to its creator, the capitalist and this means that the creature cannot be represented on its own. While we all may conjure visual images of the creature, the sublimity he evokes in all of us is because we don’t know what he represents. Montag captures this when he describes the monster as “a factitious totality assembled from the parts of a multitude of different individuals, in particular, the poor, the urban mass that, because it is a multitude rather than an individual, is itself as nameless as Frankenstein’s creation” (pg. 387). The different strains of thought within the oppressed classes and the variety of ways in which the creature can be depicted allow universal sympathy for the creature. This is monumental because it forces everyone, in some way or another, to identify with the creature. If he could be represented or typified, the entire revolutionary aspect of the novel would lose its grandeur.  

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