Frankenstein and Industrialization Essay

This essay has a total of 1100 words and 5 pages.

frankenstein and Industrialization

How did the changes brought about by the factory system challenge the family? How do some
of the authors included in Chapter Four, in Rogers, treat this issue? Does Mary Shelley
have any insights or criticisms with regard to the family and industrial society?

The changes brought about by the factory system changed drastically the whole family
structure. This is especially evident from the way children and women were treated in the
industrial society. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein discusses changes within the family from
two different perspectives one of which is Victor's and the other one that of the

The Industrial Revolution created a unique new category of people who were dependent on
their job alone for income, a job from which they might be laid off without any reason.
The factory worker had no land, no home, and no source of income but his job. Working in
the factory meant more self-discipline and less personal freedom for workers. The system
tended to depersonalize society and reduced workers to an impersonal status. This Economy
powered by machines, turned people into machines as well.

Even though life overall was improving, the industrialism brought misery to the workers
and their families. Family structure and gender roles within the family were changed by
the growth of the industrial society. Families as economic unit did not exist anymore.
Productive work was taken out of the cottage. A new pattern of family life emerged.
Families now worked on factories and mills for people they did not know. Production was
the key in the industrial society and family was a minor issue. Families were less closely
bound together than in the past - the economic link was broken.

Children became an essential part of the factory system. Little children could work in
such areas where a normal-sized adult would not fit. So factory and mine owners depended
on child labor greatly. They especially depended on children who were good with their
hands and parents realizing an extra income often forced their children into work. As a
result, children got abused and injured constantly. In Aspects of Western Civilization,
Rogers refers to different accounts of children being physically deformed for life as a
result of their employment. He also provides statistics on children's death causes, which
include causes like: falling down the shafts, drowning in the mines, suffocating of
choke-damp. "An imperfect abstract from the registration of deaths for the year 1838,
gives a total, in p. 177-178

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