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What are the main features of the Marxist theory of literature?

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lifeinlove | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted December 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM via web

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What are the main features of the Marxist theory of literature?

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted March 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM (Answer #1)

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Marxist theory of literature, or the literary concepts and assumptions arising from Marxist paradigm, is a social theory in the form of discourse based on the studies of a German Philosopher and theorist Karl Heinrich Marx (furthered by Frederick Engels) that gives basis for Marxist criticism

Marxism is not merely a literary theory, but can be extended to literature for analysis of a literary text based on certain criteria. The main features of Marxist theory of literature are:

Literary text interpretation based on Marxist literary theory, directly or indirectly, focuses on certain societal issues like class, culture, power, etc. in the literary text.

Aesthetic and artistic elements are less important. The historical, social and political meanings are considered more important.

The author’s social class and his social conditions, and his ideology and interpretation of the social and historical background of his times are also significant for the study.

Marxism shows a sympathetic, soft attitude towards the working class. Literary analysis is based on class struggle, class-distinctions and class-conflicts, obvious or hidden, represented in the literary texts.


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