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There exist a connection between the French Revolution and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, yet I do not agree with Montag’s conclusion in “The ‘Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein” that the creature does not represent the proletariat-laboring class. The creatures connections to the proletariat are made clear throughout the novel. During the French Revolution, the people of France were ruled by a monarchy, which lead the class division by the lower class comprised of “(peasants, workers, and the urban poor) and middle class comprised of “( the rural or urban bourgeoisie: landowners, merchants, and financiers” (471). Montag states this in the French Revolution when the capitalist middle class mobilized the masses, “they found that they conjured up a monster that, once unleashed could not be controlled.” and in the novel after the creature is created, Victor states “ I took refuge in the courtyard” (60) and goes onto describe the physical creature’s appearance. In the process of doing so, he is able to show an example of what the lower classes do when they can not handle advocacy and run headfirst into a riot. A key moment in the novel is the instances were the monsters wants to communicate with the family but is faced by his own belittlement, stating that humans are  “superior,”, “arbiters” and “reception.” The creatures establish himself as inferior to humans, which creates irony because the family is composed of peasants which are referred to as subordinates by higher-ranking individuals. Here we begin to the connection between the creature and the proletariat as they both are unstoppable once released. At the beginning of the novel, it is shown Victor Frankenstein’s ambition to create this creature and awaken him. Once he makes the creature come to life Victor states, “Oh! Mortal could support the horror of that countenance”(60). Victor at this moment express his emotion of discontent and disgust of his creation. Victor creates this creature which he loses control of. This reflects The French Revolution which is comprised of three phases, the Moderate phase 1789-1791, Radical Phase 1791-1794 and Napoleonic Phase 1794-1799. In the novel we see the creature lose of control leads the killings of Henry Clerval, William Frankenstein and Elizabeth Lavenza. Victor first began with this high hope that he would someday contribute something to the world with the creation of the creature, but ultimately gets nowhere and is left in a state of disorder, by the end of the novel he has no friends, no brother and is wireless. In the last phase of the French Revolution the “Napoleonic Phase”, France is left with an authoritarian government. The French did not make progress in the form of government nor did it advance as a civilization, they are left basically in the same position in which they started.

 

-Levit Martinez