Frankenstein’s ‘invisible hand’

 Frankenstein!! Awesome!! This was my first time to read Frankenstein in English because i’m a Korean. And in Korea, i’ve just heard about Frankenstein as a frightening monster story. Through reading the novel, however, i’ve just found out that this science fiction is not just a horror or thriller, but rather a deeply-significant tragedy between man and man’s creature(Here, Frankenstein). I’m so impressed by this fiction and i think there are quite a lot of significant points to discuss on or to be lectured.

 Anyway, beyond that, i would rather consider the phrase ‘invisible hand’ which Frankenstien said himself when he was staying with De Lacey’s. This phrase that i picked up could be heard like little bit awkward or too ideological. But that is my reason to pick up these two words. They just made me think about the author’s intention of using that kind of phrase.

  ‘Invisible Hand’! How economic! I definitely know that ‘invisible hand’ is used in economics as a tool which operates in the markets and it was said by A.Smith through his work, ‘The Wealth of Nation.’ According to my research, the book was published in 1776 and Mary Shelley had written Frankenstein in 1818. So that makes sense that Mary Shelley could possibly quote that term into her novel.

 To think about the words, ‘invisible hand,’ Frankenstein used it when he worked for De Lacey’s family. He secretly worked for the family and helped them to go through the harsh period.  De Lacey is a blind elder man and there are his son Felix, and his daughter Agatha.  Safie, who is Felix’s wife, is actually Turkish and she left her country for her lover. And since Felix helped Safie’s father, Felix’s properties were deprived of from the government. And when Safie left, she brought some of her property so the family of De Lacey could live together not that really affluently, but peacefully. But then, the monster Frankenstein was happened to stay near  the family and with a hope for being friend with them, he helped them a lot, of course, by stealth. And by stealing a glance and overhearing, he could learn vocabularies and could speak. However, the happiness of De Lacey’s family was rooted only from the abundance. They just did not care much on Frankenstein. Oh poor Frankenstein!

 From these contexts, the expression of  the ‘invisible hand’ could be interpretated as a poor and helpless situation of Frankenstein. As ‘invisible hand’ is used in capitalism and among that sort of society, there are many workers and they usually have many difficulties for living. So  it could be said that Mary Shelley reflected the image of tortured workers of capitalist society unconsciously into her text here.

 Well, this is what i thought about Frankenstien’s ‘invisible hand.’ It could be argued that he described  his hand ‘invisible’ just because all of his efforts which had been done by the hands disappeared at once. But i just thought further more in the context of the social and economic situation of the time when Mary Shelley wrote this novel.

 Hope it would make sense!!:)

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One Response to Frankenstein’s ‘invisible hand’

  1. This is an insightful look at a phrase that might seem insignificant at first, but which when explored a bit more, can reveal a great deal about the novel. I had noticed that one of the first details the creature observes of the family is their poverty (even before gender differences, he notices their poverty), and this observation, combined with the “invisible hand” definitely makes your reading credible.

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