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Marxist Criticism

Marxist Literary Criticism

Christian Jorgensen

on 15 November 2012

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Transcript of Marxist Criticism

Marxist Criticism Karl Marx Karl Marx 19th century German philosopher and economist He believed that a capitalist society was just one of a succession of different types of societies in which there are two classes: 'the oppressors and the oppressed' The Communist Manifesto In 1848 Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto

The premise is the struggle between upper class (the bourgeoisie) and working class (proletariat) which Marx says is the root of all social conflict

Society at the time had a small percent of the population as upper class and majority of the population in working class with no middle class

Economics is the base for all Marxist thoughts "The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones." Marxist Literary Criticism 1920s Marxism developed in literary criticism
Based on the social classes of people.
Upper class that barely works for high social standing
Lower class works but which keeps them in a lower class
Middle Class has some benefits but needs to work to keep those benefits
Each class is different
The upper class has power
The upper class will use the power wrongly.
The Lower class is treated poorly and manipulated. 1.) Proletariat- Is the working class, they provide all labor and are the majority of population.
2.) Bourgeoisie- Is small percent of the population that rules, they have the majority of wealth
3.) Capital-buying something in order to sell it for profit
Capital is a feature of capitalism but not of Marxism
Viewed negatively in Marxist Criticism 5 Keywords 4.) Hegemony- Is essentially cultural manipulation, where one group is withholding the wealth and creating dominance of a ruling class.
5.) False consciousness- When the working class is not aware that they are being manipulated by the upper class. When analyzing works through a Marxist lens it is important to remember that one may get a very different story. Marxist literature critics believe that the true meaning of an author's story is hidden and not obvious to the reader

**Not what the novel may say but what it hides. Ideas lie beneath the actual words of the novel** Blood would be considered the capital in this novel
Dracula is intending to manipulate the lower class in order to take the capital (blood) in order to benefit himself (which he succeeds with in Lucy’s case)
How the bourgeoisie used the proletariat in modern society to get what they wanted. Lower class or the band of Vampire hunters ultimately triumphs over Dracula by asserting they authority and banding together as a people.
Through a Marxist lens, this would be considered the achievement of communism. Capital Band of vampire hunters whom are opposed to Dracula (Van Helsing)
They are not the lower class in terms of mines or factories but they do work, opposed to Dracula who does not work thus making him upper class.
They are as a whole opposed to the upper class power Lower Class Upper class- Dracula
Importance of wealth to the character. In the novel there were many instances of him hording gold and money, which is a characteristic of the bourgeoisie’s greed. Marx believed is inherent of the struggle between social classes.
He is also consumed by power. Dracula has the power not only of his estates but also has power over people for example he tries to create vampire world in London.
Ancestry also plays a part because during this time, a lot depended on a persons name and it was very hard to move up in class just based on name. Upper Class Cinderella is exploited by her rich relatives.
She exploits the mice, birds, and fairy godmother who help her for no pay.
Cinderella has no wealth and her only hope is to marry the prince.
Class structure with Cinderella (poor) who does all the work, Step Sisters (middle class) who yearn to marry the rich prince, prince (wealthy) who controls the power in the kingdom decides who he will marry.
In the original fable, the animals gouge out the eyes of the step sisters and drive them out of town symbolizing the violent clashes between the rich and the poor. Cinderella Can be viewed as the upper class (lions) trying to maintain power over an unhappy lower class (hyenas). The lower class resents the privileges of better food and hunting grounds that the upper class maintains. This conflict causes a rebellion, which disrupts the normal social order causing chaos and destruction. Lion King Dracula- Accumulation is inherent in Dracula's nature. Similar to capital, Dracula is drawn to the continuous growth which is a defining conflict between vampires and vampire hunters or an example of class struggle. Dracula
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