Robbie K and Rooty Pattotie. Marxism. Definition of a Marxist.
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“Marxist criticism is a type of criticism in which literary works are viewed as the product of work and whose practitioners emphasize the role of class and ideology as they reflect, propagate, and even challenge the prevailing social order (Murfin).”
Breaking it Down
Marxist critics will look over a writing piece and not seek out hidden meanings but try to understand them in their historical content, looking at social classes of the time and the separation of the classes.
This style of thinking was created by Karl Marx, the German philosopher who created the basis of communism. In creating the idea of communism, he used literature as building block in creating the idea that the economy provided the infrastructure of society, and that all other aspects of society branched out from the economy.
Advantages of a Marxist Approach
Brings to light what the words of the poem do not provide.
Shows the difference in social class at the time and what the author thinks of that.
Shows the separation of classes and how the people want to change that.
Disadvantages of a Marxist Approach
Critic doesn’t always have the background knowledge of the time period, so they can’t understand the whole situation.
Marxists assume that the class with less money is upset and demands for change which is not always the case.
Applying to Identity Card
In Identity Card, MahmoudDarwish is a Palestinian Arab living in Israel and he speaks of how he has nothing to support his family and has no opportunities in his homeland, even though his ancestors have been living there for years.
Looking at this from a Marxist approach, one would think that Darwish is being suppressed by a higher class that came in and took his land. Also, it would be thought that he hated his peers, and that he is very unhappy with his social standing. Lines like, “You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors.” Also, “But if I become hungry, the usurpers flesh will become my food.”
Marxist critics would have Darwish challenge his society and create equality throughout his land.