Marxism and Literature

I felt that the connection between the theories of political, economic, and social history and literature was made in both pieces by Karl Marx. In “Consciousness Derived” from The German Ideology, Marx begins by going into production and the labor force and explains the different stages of development in the various forms and hierarchies of ownership. He then uses this to explain that “Men are the producers of their conceptions, ideas, etc. . . . men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with this their real existence, their thinking and the products of their thinking” (Marx. 409). In this sense, people’s positions and beliefs are created by their material, political, and economic circumstance. In “On Greek Art in Its Time,” Marx and Engels explain that art is the product of that social order of the time, “the product of the latter” (Marx, 411). Perhaps this is the connection between literature and historical context of the time. Although I personally had a hard time understanding Raymond William’s criticism, I found the ending to be rather interesting, where he cultural emergence in relation to both dominant and residential. Williams’ idea of the “structure of feelings” also struck me in its importance to his cultural theory, where he explains how they have changed in the social change to language.