This paper gives an original account of one of the most discussed passages in Marx dealing with the concepts of work and freedom. It criticises the view that there are two conflicting strands in Marx's thought (Cohen, Arendt, et al.). It demonstrates that it is a mistake to interpret Marx as opposing the realms of necessity' and freedom'. It refutes the common idea that Marx's views on work and freedom changed significantly in his later writings and argues for a more utopian vision.