Tag Archive: alienation


Nonmember

by Marco Hidalgo

In Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, the creature is an outcast from the rest of society by not being accepted by the way he looks. He is being alienated by everyone with doing so he is on his own and learns about individuals who also have the same outcast problem.

Internal colonization in order to have inequality and discrimination towards another ethnic group. Those affected by internal colonization are often looked at as outsiders or aliens, which are also treated very badly. Safie, a Turkish refugee, has the same problem as the creature which is how society sees refugees and immigrants as outsiders and make them feel not welcomed. I strongly feel like the creature gave Frankenstein the letters by Safie on her life story to help Victor Frankenstein understand the idea on how the creature is feeling alienated by the entire world just because of his appearance, because just like Safie feels  unwelcomed into the place where she hoped to find refuge in, the creature is unwanted and unloved by the entire world because of his appearance. All of these individuals are coming into the states to being a new life for them and their families but now the government/ president is making it very difficult for them to do so.isolation-cartoon-700x300

Outcasts

By Maya Carranza

In Frankenstein by Marie Shelley, the creature faces reality as many people treat him poorly and is seen as an outcast because he is different. Due to the fact that he looks so unlike everyone else and is a “monster”, the creature is alienated and becomes an outsider. Thus, the creature sets off into the world where he learns about others that have been discriminated and have been shut out by society.

Internal colonization was created in order to have inequality and discrimination against certain ethnic groups over others. Those affected by internal colonization are often seen as unwelcome aliens and are treated differently. Safie, a Turkish refugee, is illustrated in the same heartbreaking way as the creature in which society sees refugees or immigrants as outsiders and aliens. The creature and Safie form a relationship and connect as they are both viewed as outcasts and as different. This connects to today’s society as “non-white” people are seen as people that don’t belong in the U.S. and are treated unequally. The monster decides to give the letters written by Safie in order to prove the “truth” about the oppression the creature, Safie, and others like them face.

discrimination

By: Carmen Ibarra

I strongly feel like the creature gave Frankenstein the letters by Safie on her life story to help Victor Frankenstein get a little sense of idea on how the creature is feeling alienated by the entire world just because of his appearance, because just like Safie feels  unwelcomed into the place where she hoped to find refuge in, the creature is unwanted and unloved by the entire world because of his appearance. And sadly enough to say,  many people who are trying to seek asylum are getting rejected, turned away, and even killed. People are coming into the states in hopes of creating a better life for themselves and their children, but the president and all these laws and regulations are making it extremely difficult for them to do so. It breaks my heart to see all the people trying to find refuge in another state yet their getting turned down and even killed or placed into jails. This also frustrates me because as the president is gaining more power white people are accentuating their privilege and we see this in the news today, white cops are killing people of color for no reason and white people are getting away with crimes that people of color would get killed for. Everything is so unfair when your skin color is darker than a white person or you don’t look similar to them.

 

Varying Intentions

Written by Cathryn Flores

Throughout the course of the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelly discusses the relationship between the creature and his creator, Victor Frankenstein. This relationship reveals the different ways the working class, represented by the creature, is treated by capitalists, which is represented by Victor. Warren Montag’s essay “The “Workshop of Filthy Creation”: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein“, gives a Marxist perspective on the functioning and structure of the story of Frankenstein and his creation. I agree with Montag’s statement that the creature is “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” because the creature has no real self-identity, and can therefore not be a true member of the working class, but only a sole figure of society that contains no true purpose.

Montag expresses his idea that the creature is the sign of the proletariat’s unrepresentability because of the fact that he was solely created to exist in the world, rather than to truly live in it. This concept is contrary to the idea of a proletariat, which  signifies the working class and their duties to continue the cycle of a capitalist society. For example, when devising a plan to create his “creature”, Victor Frankenstein states that “a new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (Shelly 57). Frankenstein reveals his intentions for creating this “monster” was for his own personal, capitalistic gain, rather than to give an inanimate object the chance at a life of well-being and free will. Instead, the scientist explains that he will reign as the master of this creature and expect praise and glory throughout this process. Victor’s intentions for this creature do not include the possibility for the it to even exist as a proletariat in society. Instead, the creature is only intended to be misrepresented by his lack of ability and opportunity to reside in the working-class, and is destined to live its life in the shadows of other beings.

 

Following the completion of my reading of Montag’s essay, I realized there are various interesting ideas to be illustrated or expressed differently. The main example of this would be the thought of the monster being compared to the working class and Victor to the middle-class capitalists. A reason why it might be suggested that the monster could possibly be compared to the working class is that he is outcasted and forgotten. It can also be suggested that the monster is lost in the midst of a capitalist society, which again would allow the idea of the monster representing the working class to flourish.

While I am in agreement with the comparison that Montag has made, I feel as if there is more to understand about Victor when comparing him to middle-class capitalism. For example, in the novel, he gives off a sense of being majorly ambitious about his ideas and what he desires to accomplish. Essentially he suggests that his creation could potentially be a scientific breakthrough or a scientific development that would enhance the common life exponentially. However, this is not the case his creation ends up being the complete opposite of what he had envisioned. It can be inferred that the creature being rejected by Victor after the occurrences, is a way of describing the alienation of labor because there is a sense of a divide or severance between him and the creature. Despite this, it can also be suggested that Victor at some points resembles the working class because he eventually does face the same challenges and disparities that the creature, who symbolized the working class, was facing.

In addition to this, utilizing Montag’s perspective we can assume that Victor’s creation embodies the characteristics of what a capitalist system or society would cause, which is the process of social classes inevitably becoming divided. Similar to how the creature had harmful outburst after being outcasted and ignored by society if the growing problem of the working class being mistreated and shut down continues, similar if not worse outburst could come from the working class. In other words, a revolution could commence similar to the way the creature in this novel revolted against the oppression of social norms created by those around the creature or as Montag would prefer, the capitalistic middle class.

– Daniel Olmos

Whilst reading Warren Montag’s “The ‘Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein, I was completely confused as to what his argument was. It wasn’t until the end that I somewhat developed an understanding of what he meant. To my understanding, Montag argued that the way Mary Shelley has structured the book and its characters is like a direct reflection of society at the time when she wrote the novel. He starts off by stating that Shelley’s Frankenstein takes place in the French Revolution, a time where the relationship between the bourgeoise and the proletariats was extremely tense. He then goes on to say that Victor is a representation of the middle/upper class and the creature represents the working class.

However, what I don’t understand is how at the end Montag states, “Frankenstein’s monster is finally not identified with the working class of Mary Shelley’s time but with its absence,” (480). What does this mean? I can’t say I agree because to me, everything the creature stands for—who he is, the things he has gone through, everything—reflects the struggles of a proletariat of the time. Montag even says himself that people regard proletariats as an uncontrollable monster because of who they are, what they stand for, and what they can do (474). So how can he say Frankenstein’s creation isn’t a proletariat if he is literally an embodiment of this group of people. I mean, the way Montag has described the proletariat’s life and how it’s affected by new technologies and industrial systems makes me think that their lives were pretty bad, and in a way isolated them from the world. Which then reminds me of the way the monster was created as well as how he had to live his life (full of misery and isolation). Then, at the end where he says “’But soon,’ he cried with sad and solemn enthusiasm, ‘I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames,’” (189). He’s just basically done with life, he doesn’t want to live anymore, he’s depressed, he’s lonely, and that sounds a lot like what life was like for the working class during the industrial revolution. Their lives revolved around this never-ending cycle of work and more work that they didn’t get any kind of satisfaction in life. And so, when it’s time to die they embrace it and accept it and in way seem happy about being put out of their misery.

-Laura Mateo Gallegos

Gravity

Rilee Hoch

In his essay “The Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein.” Warren Montag seems to state many ways that Frankenstein’s monster seems to represent the emergence of the middle class (proletariat). Yet, at the end of his essay he says The Creature is, “Not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” (480). I do agree with Warren’s interpretation of the novel in the sense that he cannot represent the proletariat. I believe that the Creature struggles with identity and simply cannot be anything but himself. It is almost a paradoxical sort of way of thinking, but The Creature represents the proletariat in the sense that he cannot find proper representation. Like the proletariat there is no explanation for his creation and there is no existing group he can identify with. He is new and never before been seen by human kind, just as the proletariat is to the bourgeoisie.

The Creature goes into detail of his loneliness which is a prominent theme throughout Frankenstein, and the story is conveyed to us through Victor and then Walton in the frame style of the Novel. He says, “Nature decayed around me, and the sun became heatless; rain and snow poured on me.. and I found no shelter” (124). Interestingly enough he cries out, “Oh earth” (124) asking why he is suffering this coldness from humanity. He does not mention, where he going, only his current isolation from the world around him. This is just like the unknown future and social alienation of the new class. The image this conveys to me is quite like Sandra Bullock’s role in the movie Gravity. Existing in space alone with nothing to grab on to, no one to relate to you, and no set place to belong. So just like the proletariat who came into being from nothing and struggled to find a place to exist in a society that rejected them, The Creature too could not be represented by anything known to man. Therefore the monster does just as Walton has said, and represents their unrepresentability.

A Rise of Action From Nothing

Image result for proletariat frankenstein

Christopher Martinez

In “The ‘Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein,” Warden Montag argues that the creature is “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability.” With all respect to Warden, I would disagree with his statement because Frankenstein does represent the proletariat as a whole. Montag states that “if the modern (proletariat) were allowed to appear, the monster would no longer be a monster, no longer be alone, but part of a ‘Race of Devils” (480). His statement might be true, but the monster serves as the journey and voice of every proletariat as a whole.

I decided to focus on Chapter 20 (pg 145-146). During this part of the book, the monster confronts Victor about his new mate. Victor destroys all the work he has done just to punish the monster. The monsters madness can be shown through the quote, “Slave, I have reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that you I have power, you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master – obey!” (146) Symbolism and tension can also be depicted in this quote because the monster (proletariat) mentions that Victor (the bourgeoisie) is his slave likewise, lower classes in society can overthrow the rich through an action. This gives me a feeling of letting go of chains. Ambiguity is also shown considering we have to decide what the action to change is. The reason I am saying this is because as a proletariat myself reading this book can give me different ideas towards action against aristocratic ideals. Thus, being annoyed and angry at being exploited lead up to the moment where the proletariat stands up for themselves. To add on, Mary Shelley uses a voice that makes me interpret that she threatening the bourgeoisie. Words like ‘I’ are used a lot in this section of the book. Such as in the quote, “I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom. Man, you shall repent of the injuries you inflict” (146). I get that horrific mood when reading this. In other words, I interpret that Mary Shelley is threatening the rich just like the monster is doing against Victor.

Throughout the whole section, there is a motif of rage. Victor made the monster reach up to his tipping point. As a consequence, Victor has to face an inevitable horror at some point. I don’t feel as if anything is missing because clearly the monster represents every single proletariat – unlike what Montag thinks. To make this more clear, throughout the book we see the growth of the monster (such as through education). Once the monster has the knowledge of the mind to act between right and wrong, we see the confrontation. Similarly, as I mentioned before, this can all relate to any low-income student because through knowledge and anticipation we can act upon our own people: the proletariat.

 

By Alex Luna

After reading Montags essay, there is a lot to consider. Montags essay takes an interesting approach, in which the monster reflects the working class that get lost and forgotten in the makings of the capitalist system. While I agree with this comparison, I feel as if there is a larger discussion in relation to Victor himself. To further elaborate, one must look at the scene in which the monster was given life. Here, we can see how not only does the monster represents the working class, but Victor himself represents the alienation of labor as well as the ideological ambitions held by innovators.

From the beginning of chapter 5, we can see Victor’s ambition. He says “For this I had deprived myself of rest and health”. For this creation, this scientific ambition, Victor has poured everything into. What’s interesting here is that I can envision a factory worker saying this exact line, which is a complete role reversal of what Montag argues in his essay. It could also refer to how powerful people want to be innovated and change the world, like a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, just a tad bit more crazy and unethical. He believes his creation will cause a breakthrough in scientific development, when in actuality it fails completely. This is ironic, because humans hold this ideology of innovation and “changing the world” so dearly. Just as Victor sees his creation “the beauty of the dream had vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart”. Many innovators have strong ambitions, but if they were to be confronted with the true horrors of how their products are created, how there is often child labor or intense working conditions that drive people to suicide, then perhaps they would reconsider. Here in this moment, Victor is experiencing an alienation of labor. From the moment he sees the creature, he immediately resents it and wishes to disassociate himself from it. Victor himself also resembles the working class here, along with the creature. The middle class capitalist experiences the working class issue. All the work Victor put in has now gone to waste, for the creature did not reflect his ideology.

Furthermore, Victor’s creation reflects aspects of the harsh machine, or system of capitalism that continues to divide social classes. Victor thinks “I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created.” This confrontation just makes me think of what the most famous innovators of our time would say if they witnessed just how much of a commodity fetish products they created have become. Everywhere there are people glued to their smartphones, slowly losing social communications and further isolating the workers from those who can afford these products. This continuing divide, this machine, has essentially become a monster of its own, and the working class continues to be ignored, much like the way Victor abandoned the monster. If history has taught us anything, the working class, or the monster, will eventually revolutionize due to constantly being shelved and hidden from public view, being forced to watch from the sidelines the lifestyles of the middle to upper classes.

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