The Contribution of Marxism in Literary Criticism

3206 WordsAug 27, 201113 Pages
THE CONTRIBUTION OF MARXISM TO THE STUDY OF LITERARY CRITICISM It is evident that Marxism has made great contribution in the study and criticism of Literature, there is need to explain a little bit on Marxism before we discuss its contribution. Marxism is a social and political theory based on the works of Karl Marx and his followers, associated with the socialist and communist movements, these works mainly are Manifesto of the Communist Party and the German Ideology. It should be understood that Marx never formulated a complete literary or aesthetic theory, but he laid down the foundation to the emergence of Marxist literary critics, to mention only few ideas which we think are very important in the study and criticism of literature…show more content…
Due to this emphasis, those who are considered as good writers tend to recast the historical record in an artistic way, without reducing a literary text into a history book, this has even made possible to trace the history of a particular society through the use of literary text, for example in Tanzania you can use a novel or a play to trace the history of Tanzania from pre colonial period to post independence era. This also can be seen through Ngugi’s novels whereby he begins from the history of his people as the starting point: from Kikuyu and Mum-bi, the Father and Mother of the tribe; the prophesies of ancient seers like Mugo wa Kibiro; the coming of European colonialists; the colonial encounter with Africans; the maumau struggle for independence and the post independence scene in Kenya Emergence of the view that, Literature should aim at a truthful reflection of reality, this means it must demonstrate both concrete and abstract potentialities of human being, the literary representation of this kind, implies a description of actual person’s inhabiting a palpable, identifiable world. This is put clearly by Lukas as he says ..... Am interested in what is typical, in what one might call the ghostly aspect of reality ..... ( pp.112).

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