The Revolutionaries in Time of the Temptress

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The Revolutionaries in Time of the Temptress

Karl Marx determined that the oppressed proletariat would grow weary of the system in which they are constantly overlooked and overpowered by their oppressors. The people would join together and revolt against the power-controlling elite known as the bourgeois. In popular entertainment, it is common that any the plight of the commoners is overlooked and any potential uprisings ignored. In Violet Winspear's Time of the Temptress, the characters suppress the revolt of the jungle's monkeys because they willfully misunderstand the attacks. Even though the monkeys' Marxist revolution is mostly unseen, it is highly organized and pointed, and involves all the monkeys in the jungle, fighting for the freedom to share the jungle with the humans more equitably and justly.

In Marxist theory, all societies would revolt against oppression. We might therefore extend this principle to non-human societies as well. The lower and middle classes, or proletarians, would become angry at their oppressors, the bourgeoisie, and band together, seeking a self-governing state: only a "violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie [would] lay the foundation for the sway of the proletariat" (Marx 241).

The monkeys in the jungle near Tanga are angered by their continued oppression by the local natives, the rebels, and other humans who pass through their territory. Infuriated that they are forced to leave their homes on the jungle floor for the sanctuary of the trees whenever humans enter their jungle, they join together to fight off the invaders. Thus they react as does "an oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility" (Marx 234-35). In order to overcome the mena...

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...erstood. Wade and Eve thought that the revolution was nothing more than "mischievous monkeys" playing around. Organized proletarian action is typically dismissed by the bourgeoisie. But although the revolution proved unsuccessful, the monkeys were able to learn a few valuable lessons from their attempted coup. First, they learned that the oppressed will never be taken seriously until they are able to wrest power from their oppressors. More importantly, though, the monkeys learned that there is no room for a Marxist revolution in a Harlequin romance novel, not even as a sub-plot.

Works Cited

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engles. "Bourgeois and Proletarians." Writing About the World. Ed. Susan McLeod et al. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991. 232-242.

Winspear, Violet. Time of the Temptress. Toronto: Harlequin Books, 1978.
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