A Marxist Reading of Mary Barton

Wenrui YANG, Wei WANG

Abstract


 Mary Barton is a realistic novel written by Mrs. Gaskell. It assumes in the reader not only imaginative sympathy with the distress of the Manchester workers, but also knowledge of the social and political movement of the 1840s, which so often offered hopes to the oppressed. By applying Marxist literary theory to the reading of this novel one can find how subtle the authoress’ depiction of growing hope and then crushing despair of the workingmen. Also, by using Marxist critique one can discover the authoress, while trying to write from the working people’s viewpoint, can not simply empty herself of all her inherited middle-class attitude, which results in the unconvincing and doubtful ending of the novel.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/8586

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