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Assume that Foster is right and "It is all political." Use his criteria to show...

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iheartmusiclol | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:11 PM via web

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Assume that Foster is right and "It is all political." Use his criteria to show that To Kill a Mockingbird and Romeo and Juliet represent a political stance.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 29, 2012 at 4:12 AM (Answer #1)

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If we use Foster's analysis in terms of assessing how "It's All Political," then I think that one has to recognizes Foster's point that literature is usually composed by the people who are interested in the problems of the world around them.  This is where the political element arises.  In Lee's work, there is a definite interest in the issue of racism in the South and how discrimination is an embedded behavior that is taught and reinforced through cultural society.  In the character of Atticus, there is a definite political element that is provided which depicts how society can and should be, as opposed to how it is.  I think that this becomes something of political value and merit.  The construction of Atticus contains a self- determination that Lee believes is something that individuals can adopt in the face of such an overwhelming power structure that embraces and actively solicits racism. 

This idea of the power structure governing individual actions and how self- determination can be evident is seen in Shakespeare's tale of the star- crossed lovers.  The fundamental element of political literary criticism is that both Romeo and Juliet actively repel the social order in which they live.  Shakespeare presents Verona as what is with the two young lovers as a representative of what can be.  They provide the leadership that the Prince and the feuding families cannot.  In the absence of social and political guidance, the kids take it upon themselves to act in a setting devoid of action.  In this, one sees how a political dimension is evident in Shakespeare's work, as well.

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