Tag Archive: #classrepresentation #marxism #giveyourpoorneighborajob #frankenstein #cantturnacreatureintoavictor

After reading “The ‘Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein,” I concluded that the creature was not so much a proletariat, rather more of “a factitious totality assembled from (the parts of) of a multitude of different individuals (Goldner), in particular, the “poor,” the urban mass….” (473) This creature does not belong in any class thus he’s and outsider and was created in a lab where he was later abandoned and was left to fend for himself. As Montag described the “monster is a product rather than a creation, assembled and joined together…” (473) Hence, the monster is not remotely human although he tries to be he fails immensely and is instead consider a product where he doesn’t fit in any of the classes. Warden Montag argues that Frankenstein’s creation was “not so much the sign of the proletariat at its unrepresentablilty,” and I agree with his interpretation because the creature was not a working-class individual, however he represented the ideal of the proletariat throughout the novel.

The creature was created by Mary Shelley to up rise toward the (bourgeoisie) which was Victor Frankenstein in this case and demand the power the monster should have received. Along the same lines, Montag included “But in going so they found that they had conjured up a monster that, once unleashed, could not be controlled.” (471) This quote shows how once the proletariats join in multitude they can unleash their power then lead to anarchy. Going back to the creature he is portrayed as a proletariat and ready to claim back what he should have received when he was created by his creator. The monster illustrates this when he reverses the characters and when “his creation, far more powerful than he, calls him “slave.” This indicates how with enough power and dignity one could lead demands that go way beyond rational. In a way this quote also symbolizes irony because the creator usually has the upper hand and in this case the creature revolutionized and ended up switching positions.


Guadalupe Andrade

Maricruz Rivas

In Warren Montag’s essay, ” Workshop of Filthy Creation,” we are asked to look at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from a Marxist point of view. Montag begins his essay with purposeful language and facts about the timeline of Frankenstein and the French Revolution thus leading us to what it meant for classism at the time. On page 480 of his essay Montag states that the creature, ” is therefore not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability,” and I disagree…I think he was meant to be a representative of the proletariat.

I imagine that at the time that Mary Shelley was writing Frankenstein there was a lot fear and uncertainty because nobody know what would be the result of the industrial revolution, all people knew at that time was that there were few jobs available, wages were low and inflation at an all time high (472) but survival made all pursuits worth the risk. One specific scene in the novel that represents this idea of “class representability” is the hunt montage between Victor and the creature beginning on page 125. Victor states, ” I pursued him; and for many months this has been my task. Guided by a slight clue, I followed the windings of the Rhone, but vainly,” (173). Victor Frankenstein cannot be “Victor Frankenstein: the creator” without the creature much like the bourgeoisie could not be the bourgeoisie without the proletariats all pursuits of those two things are in vain – for their own well being. Victor is not chasing the creature to save him – he is chasing him for his own piece of mind. The bourgeoisie didn’t chase a labor force to be friendly to their poor neighbor – they chased labor to make more money. The creature represents a overburdened population on the run from an empowered population (Victor) with no where to go, you either make money to survive or you don’t…hands were tied. The creature was a victim of his creation much like the proletariates were victims of circumstances they were born into – the system wasn’t designed to make Victor’s out of creatures. Image result for industrial revolution monster