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Medea

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Sara Vukojevic

on 13 January 2015

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Transcript of Medea

Marxism in Literature
Beloved
Sweet Home
Leadership changes create problems
Class struggle between slaves and Schoolteacher
Society's expectations still influence the slaves
124 Bluestone Road
Division is created at Baby Suggs' show of wealth
124 rejoining the community creates a better living for all of them
OMG LOOK MARXISM
Jane Eyre
Medea Interpretation
Marxist Critical Lens
through a Marxist lens
Marxism
Interpretation of Medea
References and Sources
Games are fun!
Watch the following video and analyze based on a Marxist critical approach
Marxism is based on the classless ideologies of Marx and Friedrich Engels.
It wasn't until the 1920s that Marxist Literary Theory was systematized
The October Revolution of 1917 in Russia changed socialist ideals and socialist realism was accepted as the highest form of literature
Father of Marxist Literature: György Lukács
Marxist philosopher and literary historian
Works of literature are products of history
Analyzed by looking at the social and material conditions in which the novel was constructed
Critics comment on classes and the oppression of the poor class by the rich class
People are defined by their society and not themselves.
Works Cited
Brizee, Allen, and J. Case Tompkins. "Marxist Criticism (1930s to
Present)."

Purdue Owl. Purdue University, 21 Apr. 2010. Web. 9 Jan. 2015.

Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Random House, 1943.
Print.

Delahoyde, Michael. "Marxist Criticism." Introduction To
Literature. Washington State University, 6 Jan. 2011. Web. 09 Jan. 2015.

Euripides, and Nicholas Rudall. Medea. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee,
2000. Print.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Knopf, 1987. Print.

Walt Disney. "(FROZEN) into the Mountains." YouTube. YouTube,
30 Jan. 2014. Web. 09 Jan. 2015.

Morality
Mistreatment by Mrs. Reed
Role of government
Source of Jane's wealth/hard work
"I could not see how poor people had the means of being kind...no, I was not heroic enough to purchase liberty at the price of caste" (ch. 3)
Jane/Rochester equal marriage
A desire for money and power is what motivates Jason to leave Medea for the princess

through a Marxist lens
How?
Things to Watch Out for When Looking at a Text Through a Marxist Lens
Characters who have control over other characters or are superior to other characters (metaphors for oppression)
Parents, teachers, masters, bosses, headmasters, benefactors
Differences in class, intelligence, and wealth
How characters came to be part of a different class
How money influences the plot
Attitudes of author & characters towards money
Role of society, government, and church: who makes the rules (laws and moral/ethical codes of conduct), and why should they be followed?
Free will: what happens when characters make their own choices?
EXAMPLES
Background to the Critical Approach
The Lens vs. the Philosophy
Our Analysis
The castle is closed and the commoners are shut out
The rich isolate themselves from the lower classes: a lack of social mobility is represented by a literal inability to move into the castle
When Elsa is angry, the whole world freezes over and nothing can be done
Elsa is the wealthiest/powerful person in the land, and her emotions have unprecedented effects on everybody's livelihoods; regular people feel scared and out of control, but Elsa is simply able to isolate herself in her ice castle
There are two love interests: wealthy Prince Hans and iceman Kristoff
The wealthy prince is a liar, too good to be true; the iceman turns out to be faithful and trustworthy; the movie was written in a time period when politicians are seen as greedy, too wealthy, and untrustworthy
Medea's pathway to ascend the social order is revenge (Euripides' argument?)
Kings and princesses are not saved by their positions of power
The chorus dictates (but doesn't take part in) the story, and is composed entirely of commoners/people of a lower class
Medea manipulates the royalty's love for gold and valuables in her conspiracy to kill the queen and consequently the king.
Medea's Conspiracy
Medea's conspiracy one of the examples of how wealth and social factors drive the plot.
Medea is considered a barbarian; and is thus much low in society compared to the royalty. This explains their treatment of her.
The Ending
"He thought he could make you his son-in-law and then send me into exile...So now I am a tigress, an eater of men? Call me you like. I have broken your heart." (56)
Medea's physical position over Jason and her success in breaking Jason down illuminate Euripides' innovative message that class barriers can be overcome; which is a view that matches Karl Marx's.
"They say gifts can persuade even the gods. Gold can speak louder than ten thousand words."
Full transcript