Can someone provide me with a Marxist approach to a literary text?I would like a text or a poem analysed with a marxist approach.  

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neneta | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The Marxist theory is an extrinsic approach to literature that allows us to be aware of Historical contexts. I took the example of Araby, a short story written by James Joyceto illustrate a possible Marxist approach of his work.

The first thing to consider in a Marxist analysis is to distinguish between the powerful and the powerless characters. In Araby, the young lady and the two gentlemen are characters who seem to maintain power because they are English. We know that at the time, England was an oppressive state par rapport to Ireland.

A Marxist analysis also presupposes the existence of class struggle in literary texts. However, in Araby there is no evidence of conflict among people from different social classes, except for the characters at the bazaar, the story only involves Irish characters.

Alienation is also an important term in this kind of analysis. Alienation refers to any form of escapism that camouflages  harsh realities. In Araby, we may say that the Catholic Church, being a superstructure, exerts its power over people in Ireland. Otherwise, the Bazaar clearly contributes to another form of escapism.


We can also detect which social class the narrator belongs by examining  the setting. In this case, the imagery in the opening paragraph makes us to envisage a low middle class neighborhood.

Now, for the bazaar we see that the narrator’s attitude towards the bazaar changes from euphoria to disappointment.  We may risk and say that this change of mood implies the author’s negative critic of the British Imperialism.


Next we shall consider some more generalized questions. For example, we may try to find out  the values of the author’s time and place. Likewise, we may analyse the socioeconomic conditions of the writer's time. Finally, we may consider James Joyce's  biographical in order to identify his ideology.

neneta's profile pic

neneta | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The Marxist theory is an extrinsic approach to literature, which allows us to be aware of the Historical situation of the time the text has been written. I took the example of Araby by James Joyce to illustrate a possible Marxist approach of James Joyce’s work.

The first thing to consider in a Marxist analysis is to distinguish between the powerful and powerless characters. In Araby, the young lady and the two gentlemen are the characters who maintain power as they are English. We know that at the time, England was an oppressive state par rapport to Ireland.

A Marxist analysis also presupposes the existence of class struggle in literary texts. However, in Araby there is no evidence of conflict among people as, except for the bazaar, the story only involves Irish characters.

Alienation is also an important term in this kind of analysis. Alienation refers to any form of escapism that camouflages  harsh realities. In Araby, we may say that the Catholic Church, being a superstructure, exerts its power over people in Ireland. Otherwise, the Bazaar clearly contributes to another form of escapism.
We also can detect which social class the narrator belonged by examining  the setting. In this case, the imagery in the opening paragraph makes us to envisage a lower middle class neighborhood.

Now, for the bazaar we see that the narrator’s attitude towards the bazaar changes from euphoria to disappointment.  We may risk and say that this change of mood implies the author’s negative critic of the British Imperialism.
Next we shall consider some more generalized questions. For example, we may try to find out  the values of the author’s time and place. Likewise, we may analyse the socioeconomic conditions of the writer's time. Finally, we may consider James Joyce's  biographic and try to deduce his ideology and how it has contributed to his success as a writer.

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