In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the Bourgeois lifestyle is depicted as far from perfect. Even though Victor is an educated scientist and his “family is one of the most distinguished of that republic [Geneva]” (Shelley 40) he does not fulfill any of the goals in his life and therefore he is unhappy. After working tirelessly on his monster he is devastated upon its completion and spends the rest of the novel in solitude. However the De Laceys, who are in poverty and live the simple life, are described as wondrous and good by the monster.
If you look at Frankenstein from the monster’s perspective you can easily see that he is bent toward evil partly because of the upper class society’s opression. He seeks to destroy Victor, and he kills Clerval, Elizabeth, and William who are all part of the upper class. The monster was created in pursuit of scientific discovery. He is the proletariat created by the bourgeoisie. However the monster was made stronger than its creator, much like the working class overpowers the upper class in real life. “thou hast made me more powerful than thyself; my height is superior to thine; my joints more supple”(Shelley 93)
The Bourgeoisie in Frankenstein are driven by dreams that are larger than life and unattainable. Victor creating man and Walton’s quest to the North Pole are examples of this, and it reflects the idea that the upper class is too absorbed in their aspirations to focus on the things that really matter, like human relationships, the main quality of the De Laceys that the monster admires. “But where were my friends and relations?”(Shelley 110) The monster asks when seeing the joy that they give to the cottagers. Throughout history and throughout the book the bourgeoisie have been the people with the time and money to pursue seemingly outrageous undertakings, which as we see in Frankenstein led to destruction.
Shelley describes the cottagers through the monsters eyes as gentle mannered, and “They possessed a delightful house and every luxury” (Shelley 102) but they are unhappy. It seems strange to the monster, but they are unhappy because they have been brought down to the lower class. The social construct that has been created has left the family thinking that they need wealth and fame. They have fallen victim to the superstructure and the monster cannot at first understand the source of their turmoil.
It is clear that in Frankenstein Victor represents the bourgeoisie and the monster represents the proletariat when Shelley plays with the idea of the working class rising above the upper class by way of physical power: “Slave, I have reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension.” “You are my creator, but I am your master; – obey!” (Shelley 146) Much like in society the larger working class holds power in numbers and through strength.
The bourgeoisie in Frankenstein are depicted to live an empty lifestyle. Shelley puts emphasis on the importance of human relationships, which the monster has none of. Victor is happy only when he is with Clerval or his family, and the monster knows this, so to seek revenge he severs the human bonds that Victor has. The scientific pursuits of the Bourgeoisie in Frankenstein ultimately lead to their downfall.