Study Guide

Frankenstein Fritz (Dwight Frye)

Fritz (Dwight Frye)

Wait, shouldn't that be Igor?

Yes, the assistant to Dr. Frankenstein is usually thought of as "Igor." He doesn't appear in the original novel, but in later film versions he is in fact called "Igor." Here, though, he's plain ol' Fritz.

Hey Fritz, no one likes you.

Why doesn't anyone like Fritz? Well, the twisted, deformed, nasty dude is a perfect example of middle management. Frankenstein bullies him and makes him do all the unpleasant work. It's Fritz who has to climb up the gibbet and cut down the corpse, and then, for his trouble, Frankenstein gets all huffy with him:

"The neck's broken. The brain is useless! We must find another brain."

You can just see Fritz rolling his eyes and thinking, Who's this "we"? I'm the guy that's going to have to find that brain, while you sit off to the side and make cranky comments, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein bullies Fritz—and so Fritz bullies whoever he can in turn. And who can Fritz bully? The monster.

You'd think Frankenstein would want his amazing new creation treated well, but he's unwilling to do any actual work himself, and that means that it's up to Fritz to watch him —and amuse himself by scaring him with fire and beating him. When the monster finally lashes out and kills Fritz, Frankenstein admits he knew what his assistant was doing:

"He hated Fritz. Fritz always tormented him." 

So why didn't you do something to stop it, genius? That's bad management for you.

Fritz's unpleasant, ugly, and nasty. But that begs the question, why did Frankenstein hire someone so unpleasant, ugly, and nasty? The answer is that Frankenstein wanted to do unpleasant, ugly, nasty things without getting his own hands dirty.

Remember, Frankenstein is a Baron's son; he's used to having other people do the yucky stuff for him. Fritz—and a bunch of other people—die because Frankenstein wanted to play in the muck. But Frankenstein himself emerges unscathed. It's always middle management that suffers, while the big boss gets to marry and have little Barons happily ever after.

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