Marxist Literary Criticism

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Apply Marxist theory to Hard Times.

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A Marxist reading of Hard Times would undoubtedly seek to emphasize the book's searing indictment of the excesses of industrial capitalism. In particular it would focus on the way in which capitalism, in the form of Mr. Gradgrind, attempts to cloak its ideology in a quasi-scientific language of fact. Capitalism is often presented by its adherents as a perfectly natural system, one that corresponds to the brute facts of the world. Yet Dickens challenges this notion; capitalism, as it existed in Mid-Victorian Britain, was an artificial system that was created to serve the class interests of certain groups in society.

At the same time, a Marxist reading of Hard Times would also criticize Dickens for what appears to be a certain romanticism on his part. Marx, despite his withering critique of the inhumanities of capitalism, nevertheless welcomed its supersession of the old feudal system, seeing in it the necessary preconditions for the development of socialism. Marx didn't want to turn the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 522 words.)

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