Essay on A Marxist Account of Social Class Conflict

Essay on A Marxist Account of Social Class Conflict

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Marxism represents the political, economic, and social theories created by Karl Marx and embraces the notion that the struggles between various social classes are a major factor in regards to determining history. In addition, Marx held that the laboring class would eventually overcome the aristocratic or controlling social class, ideals which he documented in his publication The Communist Manifesto. Similarly, I believe the overall motivating force and theme in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is one of Marxist origin in which conflict among social classes results in the majority of events. Although one can argue that the character of Nelly Dean exemplifies these Marxist ideals, I believe Heathcliff is a better personification of the struggle among social classes. The central conflict of the novel between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw is one rooted in division among social class and one that spawns numerous others, ultimately determining the fate of many of the characters. In accordance with the Marxist believe, Heathcliff also provides an example of the laboring class eventually overcoming the owning or controlling class. Furthermore, the time period in which Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights was characterized by changing relationships and turmoil among the social classes.
Wuthering Heights opens in the year 1801, one defined by the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England and its subsequent social and cultural alterations. As Emily Bronte was writing the novel during the mid 1840’s, the results of the Industrial Revolution were in full effect, creating new wealthy families, instilling a desire for prominence amongst the middle class, and forming a new definition of the gentleman ("Wuthering Heights as Socio-Eco...

... middle of paper ...

...tual partial success in overcoming the upper or controlling class. Though the climax of the novel seems to occur in the middle with numerous conflicts when Catherine dies, the ending provides a resolution to the awful occurrences of the past and a merging of the Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange manors.

Works Cited

Eagleton, Terry. "Wuthering Heights." Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the
Brontes. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975. 24-45. Print.

Kermode, Frank. “A Modern Way with the Classic.” New Literary History 5
(1974): 415- 434.

"Wuthering Heights as Socio-Economic Novel." Emily Bronte. The City University
of New York, 13 Oct. 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.

Yang, Che-Ming. "A Deleuzian Reading of Wuthering Heights: The Micropolitics
of Minorization." Arts and Social Sciences Journal 3.44 (2012): 1-6. OMICS
Publishing Group. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

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