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Marxist Criticism

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Sara Gonzalez

on 14 September 2012

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Transcript of Marxist Criticism

Sara and Jossilyn Marxist Criticism What is Marxist Criticism? It is believed that Marxist texts are the products of history and can be analyzed by considering and looking at the social conditions during the time period they were made. Marxist Criticism does not only apply in texts from eras before we were born, it also can be used to interpret modern day works such as the film , The Titanic and Phil Collin’s song ‘Another day in Paradise”. About Marxist Criticism Class structure has existed for thousands of years where it is believed that there should be a form of division between social classes. This concept is still present in today’s society. Society was divided into three sections. The upper class, which was made of those who are wealthy, well-born or both. The people in this class generally have more political power. The middle class which was generally the people of average incomes. Then at the bottom of the structure was the lower class made up of the poor, low income people. Marxist Criticism in relation to texts There are many texts which reflect the social structures and relate to Marxist Criticism, including modern day texts such as the Titanic. What this film shows is the different life styles that each class has, drawing a boundary between them based on wealth. In James Cameron’s film the Titanic, the higher class receive a fancy dinner whereas the lower class are not even permitted in the dining hall. The contrast can also be seen in the rooms as the higher class rooms are elegant, big, with classic/expensive furniture while the workers rooms have bunk beds and are shared by 6 people. The famous song ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins is another example of a text which marxist criticism can be used by looking at the lyrics of the first verse. Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins By listening to the lyrics, one can understand that it is about how many people today show no support towards the needy and homeless. It is through the theories of class struggle, politics and economics that Marxist literary criticism emerged. It is a form of literary criticism which focuses on the socialist theories in a text. It views these texts as a representation of the social institutions which existed in the past and are still present today. What this song shows is a poor helpless woman (who represents the poorer and struggling people in the world) crying out for help to a man (those of higher class) who merely ignores her. The literary criticism known as Marxist can be used as a form of interpreting a text of any sort to gain a level of understanding about the social classes being outlined. In this part of the song, the man is considering helping her, but he does not want to sacrifice his own possessions to help out somebody else. When looking at it under Marxist Criticism it you can figure out that it is about society in general, and how we, compared to many others, live in a land of comfort and seeming "paradise". Marxist Criticism does not only apply to old texts or one’s based on the old era, but it can also be used to examine modern day texts. Examples of these can be songs with lyrics that reflect modern day issues regarding the mentality that many people still posses today about a person of greater wealth overpowers a person with less wealth.
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