By: Katherine Hernandez

When reading a work of literature as iconic as Frankenstein, readers tend to develop very different and sometimes controversial interpretations. In the essay, The “Work of Filthy Creation”: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein by Warren Montag, the reader is left with the interpretation that Frankenstein’s creation is the bourgeoisie in the book and that Victor is the proletariat who is terrorized by the demands of this creation. However, from my point of view, Frankenstein’s creation is, in fact, the embodiment of the working class, the proletariat side of society. Montag constantly compares the creation to the intricate work of new technology that was being introduced during the era Mary Shelley wrote and published her book, at times even calling that Victor is rightfully so to be afraid of his creation because it symbolizes the fear of the proletariat in this time of changes in society and the technological advances that came with it. He gathers historical context from Mary Shelley’s time such as the rise of the Industrial Revolution in order to convince the reader that the rise of technology was monstrous much like the creation and thus Victor had every right to be afraid of it, however, the question arises. Should we blame technology for simply doing what it is meant to do? Or is the thing at fault the creator itself? Montag created a hole in his argument, one cannot simply blame things for taking their natural course, we must hold those who created these things, such as technology, responsible. Victor’s creation is the most effortless symbolism of the working class not only during Mary Shelley’s time but also in a time that transcends her era.

The passage in chapter 20 of the novel, pages 145-146, clearly depicts how the creature is the living, breathing embodiment of the proletariat struggle. Throughout the whole novel we are able to see how The Creation struggles with fitting into to social norms and his constant struggle with dehumanization of isolation. Most of his life is spent in longing, spent in a headspace of having hopes and dreams and wanting more out of life. This is especially evident when Frankenstein retracts his promise to his creation and The Creation mourns for his struggles in life recalling his “toil and misery….[his] impeccable fatigue, [the] cold and hunger, [and Victor still] dares to destroy his hopes and dreams.” (145) The Creation is the poster child for the working class struggle. Victor is, in fact, the bourgeoisie who continually makes false promises to the working class in order to continue exploiting them. This passage greatly contradicts with Warren Montag’s ideas of Victor’s creation. The Creation fits in every shape and form to the working class’ constantly mistreated, the underdog, the ones with hopes and dreams that are much to often destroyed by the bourgeois in order to keep the gears of the capitalistic operation running.