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Transcript of Marxist Criticism
Background of Proponents of Marxist Criticism
Sphere of Greatest Influence
Karl Marx is the founder of Marxism, he believed that all of human history was simply upper class vs the lower class
Marxism was first put into in Russia under Vladimir Lenin in 1917
Marxist literary Criticism though, rose to prominence years later as a result of the works of George Lukacs.
Lukacs emphasized how literature reflected the socio-economic state it came from.
Most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century
One of the founders of Marxism
His main focus on social class was that one's social class dictated one's social life
Ideas revolutionized thinking about capitalism and its relation to one's life
The other founder of Marxism
His communist ideals were reinforced after witnessing the unacceptable labor conditions in Europe
Met Marx in 1844
Both started collaborating and tried to convince people to understand that the capitalist system is only profitable for the rich
Literary theorist and philosopher
Widely viewed as founder of "Western Marxism"
Saw Marxism as a self-conscious transformation of society
Emphasized alienation, reification, and class consciousness
Marxist Examples in Literature
Period and Sphere of Greatest Influence
Proponents of Marxist Criticism
Marxism in Medea
Identified as an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist
Took interest in literature and published
Literature and Revolution
Defense of Marxism
Medea defying Creon
Creon: “I order you to leave Corinth. You and your sons must go into exile. You must leave immediately.” (19)
Medea: “Creon, of what are you afraid? That I might harm you? How can I -a woman- harm a king? I have no such power.” (20)
Medea can be seen as the middle class and her sons as the lower class
Both Medea and her sons are sent to exile by Creon, someone of the upper class
Creon is abusing his power and forcing the lower and middle class to leave
Medea admits that she could never harm the upper class
Her refusal to leave shows her rebellion against the upper class
Allen Brizee, J., and Case Tompkins. "Marxist Criticism (1930s-present)."
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Delahoyde, Michael. "Marxist Criticism."
Introduction to Literature
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Johnson, Bethany. "Karl Marx's Theories: Class Differentiation and Revolution, Socialism & Capitalism."
. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.
"Great People: Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels."
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"Karl Marx and His Theories."
. Red Apple Education Ltd. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.
Kreis, Steven. "Karl Marx."
The History Guide
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Sewell, Rob. "Leon Trotsky: The Man and His Ideas."
In Defense of Marxism
. 20 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.
Trainer, Ted. "MARXIST THEORY; A Brief Introduction."
1 Mar. 2010. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.
"What Is Orthodox Marxism?"
Georg Lukacs History & Class Consciousness
. 1 Mar. 1919. Web. 6
Mary De Leon, David-Alan Green, and Atul Trivedi
When Jason leaves Medea and tries to remarry he is essentially trying to move up the social ladder.... needless to say he fails miserably.
"Zeus! Do you hear how I am mocked? I am left here alone. This brute of a woman escapes, stepped in the blood of her children. It is time for me to grieve. The strength that I have left I will power into my tears." pg 58-59
Jason Leaving Medea
Example of Marxism in Medea
When Jason leaves Medea and remarries he is essentially trying to get a higher status in society.... needless to say he fails miserably
"Zeus! Do you hear how I am mocked? I am left here alone. This brute of a woman escapes, stepped in the blood of her children. It is time for me to grieve. The strength that I have left I will power into my tears." pg 58-59.
Definition & Examples
Classification of characters into a hierarchy based off a particular status they retain
"For Jason I left my father. For Jason I left
my home. For Jason I killed my own brother -
To my shame, Zeus, to my shame." (16)
Medea originally upper class royalty
Instant class level demotion as soon as she
falls for and leaves with Jason
Jason representative of middle class
1. Who created Marxist Literary Criticism?
2. Why does Medea become middle class if she was considered royalty?
BONUS 50 POINTS!
Apply Marxist Literary Criticism to "Jane Eyre"