This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Working Class Representation Essay

2400 words - 10 pages

Literature, as a crucial part of culture, functions as the reflection of reality. According to Marx, “the mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life” (Williams 266). Superstructure, as the product of men’s spiritual processes, containing various ideological forms one of which is literature, is not determined by “the consciousness of men”, but by “the social existence” (266). Concerning working-class literature, it follows this rule as well—“the whole class produces and shapes these out of its material foundation and out of the corresponding social conditions” (267). Thus, working-class literature is created upon the contemporary status quo of the class which greatly influences its theme and content. Yet, according to Marxist theory, there is an interaction between culture and social organisation. Warner points out that although culture cannot go beyond social organisation, its continuity is more noticeable partly because “it is easier to envisage possibilities than to put them into practice”; “when a change of social organisation is necessary, culture comes into opposition to the time-honoured standards of society…which have proved inadequate and uninspiring for a further advance into future.” (270) Thus, literature provides working class with an approach to picture their ideal social organisation, express opposite opinions against the unfair treatment inflicted upon them in an ideological form.
Concerning the statement that Literature offers working-class people a means of challenging their allocated place in society, even though literature can contribute to influencing reality through reflecting and providing opposition against existing social orgnisation, working class people may not have the agency or ability to adopt it as a powerful means to help themselves. In the nineteenth century, schools are rare and fee-charging. Most children from rich families are educated privately; poor families cannot afford to pay for education. In this situation, it is very hard for working class people to access literature. Although in later years, more and more acts are carried out, the inequality on education between classes remains. Therefore, in some cases, literary works focusing on working class people and objectively benefiting them in reality are composed by middle-class authors; in other cases, when working class people succeed in getting access to literature, they may achieve their goal to challenge the ruling power by this ideological approach.

As to working-class literature composed by middle-class authors, Mary Barton is a good example. This novel is published in 1849, written by Elizabeth Gaskell. She relates a story set in Manchester from 1834 to 1840, focusing on the life of a working-class girl named Mary Barton. Gaskell points out clearly in the preface that she writes this book in order to appeal to sympathy of middle class and persuade them to help...

Find Another Essay On Working-Class Representation

Working-Class politics and crowd action Essay

2076 words - 9 pages L’Artisan, Journal de la Classe Ouvrière points out proletariat suffered ‘all of kinds of humiliation from those whose fortune it makes’ (…). This quote also articulates feeling of many revolutionaries who felt there was a lack of value of the working-class in the capitalist society. As a result of this, there was an emergence of number of working-class movements, such as Chartism, which sought better rights and political representation for the

Mainstream youth subcultures Essay

1005 words - 5 pages film for being working class individuals (Jones, 2011). The capitalist state, in this case, the media, stuns the audiences by showing how close it is to reality of life for the working class, for instance by use of camera phone, and this widens the gap that exists between the middle and working class that still exists (Chambliss, 1988). The state under Marxism is organised to serve the interests of the dominant social class, the middle class and

Karl Marx’s Theory of the Capitalist Economic System

1036 words - 5 pages Doug and his postal delivery colleagues go on strike. The media’s representation of what happens at these strikes, by showing Doug barbequing while his coworkers relax with their feet in a kids pool (Alper, 2005). These are examples of ideologies that keep the Bourgeoisies in power. Furthermore the media illustrates the working class as individuals with no taste and those that can be easily bought over. Advertisements from the 50’s to present day

Electoral Thresholds and the Representation of Women

5199 words - 21 pages Electoral Thresholds and the Representation of Women There are large cross-national differences in the percentage of women in legislatures. Institutional arrangement is a considerable explanatory factor in the disparity in women’s representation, and many mechanisms have been implemented to increase parity. Within PR systems, electoral systems are a way to try to increase the representation of women. Previous studies have linked

The International

839 words - 4 pages them such as property and capital. The working class majority were not represented by the state. To have a right to vote or the right to enter politics you had to fit certain criteria such as, you had to own property. Amongst the working class there were demands for the right to vote and the right to enter parliament. There was a demand for working class representation in the State. The English radicals would have been influenced by the French

Revolutionary Traditions: The First International

1174 words - 5 pages affecting them such as property and capital. The working class majority were not represented by the state. To have voting rights or to be able to enter politics you had to fit certain criteria such as, you had to own property. Amongst the working class, there were demands for the right to vote and the right to enter parliament. There was a demand for working class representation in the State. The English radicals would have been influenced by the

How far could the 3rd Reform Act be justifiably called a turning point?

592 words - 2 pages still based on property ownership and was still restrictive. The one-year residence requirement discriminated against the significant proportion if working-class males who moved frequently from one rented accommodation to another. Although the 1867 Act did take the electoral system into previously uncharted territory. Disreali intended to make the step a very tentative one, with only 'respectable' artisans being given the vote and the position of

The Art of Speech in the Play Pygimalion

804 words - 4 pages incapable poor. The author cleverly bestows his characters’ their own identity, by giving each a language and speech that suits their bubble of reality: their own social class. Shaw depicts members of all social classes, the lowest being Liza, known for her London’s working class cockney accent. Furthermore, the middle class (Doolittle after his inheritance) to the genteel poor (the Eynsford Hills) to the upper class (Pickering and the Higgins

The Snake with a Secret

1622 words - 7 pages fairytale was written, there was predominantly a lower working class, and a higher ruling class. The story revolving around the servant and his experiences powerfully communicates the message that the ruling class exploit the working class for profit, entertainment, etc. The gap between the two classes is so treacherous, it is not likely a member of the lower class will ever exceed that lifestyle. The fairytale follows the servant as he struggles to

Race, Gender and Wealth in Robert Browning's, My Last Duchess & Porphyria's Lover

1122 words - 4 pages Duchess are written in the form of dramatic monologue and both explore the issues of race, gender and wealth during the Victorian period. Furthermore, Browning also uses the rise and fall of power to portray women, another aspect which I will investigate later. Browning uses a series of themes and issues including power and wealth to represent the lower or working class in both Porphyrias lover and my last duchess. It is these fundamental aspects

Created equal but treated different

961 words - 4 pages people think about you, in the book nickel and dimed it states that “Something is wrong, very wrong, when a single person in good health, a person who in addition possesses a working car, can barely support herself by the sweat of her brow.” This is talking about how a working class person ( because their are social classes in america) can not support her self by working as hard as she does. Although a person who is born into a name of wealth can

Similar Essays

Underclass Stereotypes In The Media Essay

563 words - 2 pages " the under-class. False representation of the under-class and the victimization of the middle-class by the under-class are two points continuously exemplified in the media today. The media has a tendency "to focus on the plight of the poor, these stories are about middle-class opposition to the poor. Such stories tell us that the poor are an inconvenience and an irritation" (Mantsios 103).In a recent article titled Closing the Education

Critical Media Literacy Project Essay

1194 words - 5 pages People in the lower class are often portrayed as pitiful, unworthy, lazy people who aren’t good for anything. That is according to what the media shows us daily. Blue collar work is viewed as “real” work (Linkon). The lower, working class takes pride in what they do because they accomplish something that takes effort and skill. The working class requires effort and strength. There are good lower class citizens who work for the benefit of

British Social History Essay

951 words - 4 pages would need their own representation when it came to achieving political emancipation. Chartism was named after the drafting of the People's Charter, the bill that would achieve political reform for the working class. Initially the working class believed that if they supported the middle class in their bid for reform, they too would then be included. A few men organizing the movement knew the middle class "had no intention whatever of including

Discuss The Way One Or More Groups Of Australians Are Represented In Film And To What Extent This Representation Reflects Wider Social Attitudes. Refer To At Least One Feature Film You Have Studied

1319 words - 5 pages Australia, while Sunday Too Far Away represents working class men precisely enough to reflect accepted social attitudes of that time. There is a contrast shown in the social attitudes towards women that has exceedingly affected each films representation of women. Do these two films represent the Australian groups to reflect social attitudes or do the social attitudes reflect the dominant ideology of the context in which each film was created?The