Synopsis of society responded. Subsequently, the Marxist reading

My dissertation will be a Marxist reading about how literary works of the Nineteenth century respond to industrialisation; with particular regards to globalisation and networking. The structure will be based on three different chapters exploring three different areas of industrialisation through a novel respective to each chapter. Chapter one will focus on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (1838), chapter two will be exploring North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1855) and, finally, chapter three will be Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1861). I have chosen each of these novels, not only because they all are great works of the Nineteenth century, but because they all respond to industrialisation in different ways that provide insight into the attitudes of the time. Each respective author was writing through the progression of industrialisation in England and by doing a Marxist reading of these novels, it will aid my dissertation in being able to uncover how certain areas of society responded. Subsequently, the Marxist reading provides a deeper understanding of the novel’s response to industrialisation as one common theme linking all three novels together is class. Respectively, class is an umbrella term for multiple areas of exploration and below will explain why I have chosen these novels, as well as how they provide insight into responding to industrialisation from a Marxist perspective and what I intend to research.
Oliver Twist – How and to what effect is class inequality maintained and reproduced through Fagan and his gang in Oliver Twist?
My first book will be Oliver Twist and I will be focusing on Fagin, and I will be deeply analysing characterisation to explore how class inequality is reproduced and maintained through his gang of thieves. Fagin represents a distinct stereotypical lower- class man who lives in crime to provide for himself but it becomes apparent Fagin has utilised his gang to bring himself wealth. Fagin exploits boys into thieving for him with the promise that he will give them a roof over their head and food. Fagin is reproducing and maintaining lower class struggle as an inverted snob. Fagin’s gang is a microcosm of how the capitalist society works with Fagin as the law maker and soul provider and the young boys as the workers who rely on him the shelter and support. Despite the fact that Fagin and his gang are poor criminals, the gang symbolise how inequality between the classes is maintained and reproduced due to the fact that as long as the boys are listening to Fagin and working for him, they are under his control. The young boys never seem to get to keep anything that they steal as everything is handed over to Fagin with the promise that he will feed them and give them somewhere to stay in return for their penny pinching. This is an example of the working class put in their wages back into the system through having to pay to live after they get their wages which supports and maintains the capitalist construct of wage labour. From inference, it appears to novel’s ideological view point is that of class inequality can be maintained and reproduced as long as there is a wage-labour bond formed.

North and South – How and to what effect is class conflict portrayed in North and South through the eyes of Margaret Hale?
My second chapter will focus on the novel North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, focusing specifically on the heroin, Margaret Hale, and her journey into learning the industrial lifestyle of the north and her opinions on the injustice she observes; such as the alienation of the workers in the factories, her philanthropy in helping the workers of the mill and the corporal punishment of the workers at the hands of John Thornton. Margaret Hale makes the journey from the cosy confines of the South to the ‘smoky and harsh’CITATION Eli93 p 34 l 2057 (Gaskell, 1993, p. 34) living of the North and the setting of this can be contrasted to her Helstone which ‘sounds like a fairy-tale,’ CITATION Eli93 p 168 l 2057 (Gaskell, 1993, p. 168). She is introduced to class struggle and the novel offers an idealistic view of class struggle through the heroine’s eyes as her shock to the treatment of workers is ‘shocking…Pitiful’ CITATION Eli93 p 68 l 2057 (Gaskell, 1993, p. 68) Margaret Hales interference in the workers’ conflict does not appear to change to conflict but help mask the cause whilst having it continue. Elizabeth Gaskell seems to promote just treatment for the working class but by using a character such as Margaret Hale, who is inexperienced and ignorant to the harsh realities of class inequality, the effects on class conflict appear to be appeased but remain divided.

Great expectations – How and to what effect is social mobility experienced by Pip in Great Expectations?
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens with the focus on Pip as a character and how class mobility was accomplished for the working class. In Great Expectations, the character of Pip explores social mobility when it is said he has a benefactor from London who wishes to fund his education. This changes Pip as he becomes increasingly judgemental of the lower class and increasingly snobbish. Pip first becomes aware of his class difference when he goes to Stacey’s house as the companion of Estella and miss Havisham. He becomes aware of his rough boots and his dirty hands and feels incompetent and no longer wishes to learn the Blacksmiths trade like his stepfather Joe. In the end Pip realises that Joe is kind hearted and has all the riches and comforts he could possibly want in life and that look the glamour of London Society and the prospect of wealth doesn’t bring happiness. This novel seems to respond to industrialisation in such a way that it suggests the appeal of upper-class life is lonely and hollow and doesn’t bring true happiness and the things in life that you can’t put a price on tend to be right in front of you such as family and being kind. Social mobility appears fun for the ambitious but, ultimately, there is more happiness in simplicity than materialism.

Literature Review
Wage- labour and capital, Karl Marx, 2017
In order to start researching further into Oliver twist and how class inequality is reproduced and maintained, I turned to this classic Karl Marx book which explores how a wage-labour bond is formed and how it is maintained for the capital to utilise. The main concept is that ‘the more speedily the worker augments the wealth of the capitalist, the larger will be the crumbs which fall to him, the greater will be the number of workers than can be called into existence, the more can the mass of slaves dependent upon capital be increased.’CITATION Kar17 p 12 l 2057 (Marx, 2017, p. 12) In the context of Oliver Twist, this helped me to better understand that Fagin is creating capital for his gang through the use of food and shelter which keeps them dependant upon him thus forming the wage-labour bond. This helps to drive my analysis in explaining how class-struggle is maintained as this concept demonstrates the lower-class depend on the capital to live which is what Fagin’s gang symbolises.

Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Fredrich Engles, 2015
This book explores the idea of communism and whilst the reading of my dissertation is Marxist, this book encompasses the Marxist attitude towards the bourgeoisie. It describes how ‘the bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production,’ CITATION Kar15 p 21 l 2057 (Engles, 2015, p. 21) in order to keep the divide between classes. This provides the general foundation and philosophy for me to fully understand the Marxist concept of class and how industrialisation is driven by production. This concept would be particularly useful in understanding the class struggle in North and South as the industry is the cotton mill in Milton and understanding the conditions of production may prove useful.

Industrialization, Typologies and History, O’Brien, P.K. 2015
This article explores industrialisation in history and its effects to society. It opens with an exploration on ‘historical depth and analytical sophistication into urbanization, institutions and society,’ CITATION OBr15 p 872 l 2057 (O’Brien, 2015, p. 872) which will aid my understanding on how industrial institutions were impacting society as all of my novels are affiliated with a niche of industrialisation. It is important to understand the initial concept of institutions in industry as I will be looking at factory workers in North and south to explore class struggle.
Masculinity, Social Mobility, and the Plan to End Pauperism in Mid-Victorian England: Kneller Hall Teacher’s Training College, Bischof, Christopher, 2013
This article discusses several things in the context of the Victorian era but I focused on reading the social mobility in Victorian England. It will help me to understand my exploration into social mobility in Great Expectations in the Victorian context as it is hard to define social mobility in the modern age and then apply it to a Nineteenth century novel. This article provides depth and context for my analysis as it explores how ‘breadwinner’s wage provided material conditions into leisure,’CITATION Chr13 p 1039 l 2057 (Bischof, 2013, p. 1039) for the Victorian’s which has expanded my understanding of how social mobility was aided by more accessible wages to people and allowed them to live a life of leisure.
The Scriptures of Charles Dickens: Novels of Ideology, Novels of the Self (The Nineteenth Century Series), Vincent Newey, 2003
This book explores Charles Dickens’ work specifically which is ideal in my research as two of my novels are Charles Dickens. This book analyses Dickens’ literary works, providing insight into contemporary context of his novels and a better understanding for me to answer the possible ideologies Dickens’ had in my specific areas of research regarding social mobility and class inequality for Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. One key analysis from this book is the idea Dickens’ was ‘sympathetic to the filthy conditions the poor lived in,’ CITATION Vin03 p 43 l 2057 (Newey, 2003, p. 43) which would back up my Marxist reading of the novels as it is imperative to stick to a Marxist reading to gain the correct analysis from my chosen Dickens novels.

The Victorian Novel in Context, Grace Moore, 2012
This book has proven vital to my overall research of Nineteenth century literature and my analysis of the novels I have chosen. This novel focuses on strategies on how to read a Victorian novel and provides many forms and structures to the Nineteenth century novel. It engages my research by helping me expand on Victorian contexts and provides insight into aspects that’s shaped the century such as ‘evolutionary debate in ‘classic’ Victorian texts.’ CITATION Gra18 p 14 l 2057 (Moore, 2018, p. 14) And one of those evolutionary debates is industrialisation which is my dissertation focus area.
Class Conflict and Social Order in Smith and Marx: The Relevance of Social Philosophy to Business Management Neesham, Cristina; Dibben, Mark Philosophy of Management, 2016, Vol.15(2), pp.121-133
This article is an exploration of how Marx ‘derives his concept of class conflict’ CITATION Nee161 p 121 l 2057 (Neesham & Dibben, 2016, p. 121) which will help me further understand the class struggle in North and South as it is an analysis of how this concept ‘influences social order,’ CITATION Nee161 p 122 l 2057 (Neesham & Dibben, 2016, p. 122). Whilst it is a mix of historical and modern context, the other research articles on Victorian context will help the limitations of the modern interpretations of class conflict.
Women, mobility and modernity in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, Parkins, Wendy, 2004
This article focuses specifically on North and South and the role of women and mobility. It is imperative in my research as Margaret Hale is the only heroine in my dissertation and her unchecked view on class struggle is hard to pin point. This article helps me navigate that as it offers analysis of Margaret’s characterisation and position in the novel as ‘mediator to conflict,’ and ‘Gaskell offers a nuanced picture into social life,’ CITATION Wen04 p 508 l 2057 (Parkins, 2004, p. 508) which strengthens by argument on how the novel constructs Hale’s perception of class struggle because I gain understanding of limitations into Margret being a female in the Nineteenth century and how this may affect my argument.

Great Expectations: Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Contexts, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions), Edgar Rosenberg, 1999
This book is a colossal compilation of critical material, guided reading and literary themes in Great Expectations; as well as the novel itself. It helps to focus my understanding on ‘Pip as a character and his role within the novel’CITATION Edg99 p 576 l 2057 (Rosenberg, 1999, p. 576) so I can apply it better to my use of him in exploring social mobility. Whilst I already have material on understanding mobility, it is important to understand the novel I am analysis and so this provides help with the literary concepts and themes for my dissertation.
What a ‘CHARACTER’, Thomas Renzi, 2010
Lastly, this article contributes to the literary analysis of the chosen characters in my dissertation. It explores Dickens’ most popular characters, including Pip and Fagin, and their ‘prominence and unique characterisation,’ CITATION Tho10 p 29 l 2057 (Renzi, 2010, p. 29) all the while combining useful literary devices to explore the characters. It will aid the analysis of my dissertation because it focuses on themes, exploration, context and characterisation in Dickens’ literary works; which will also expand my understanding of Dickens’ writing and check I am using correct methodology in my literary analysis.

Word count: 2214 (excluding bibliography)
BIBLIOGRAPHY Bischof, C. (2013). Masculinity, Social Mobility, and the Plan to End Pauperism in Mid-Victorian England: Kneller Hall Teacher’s Training College. Journal of Social History, 2013, Vol. 46(4), pp.1039-1059.

Engles, K. M. (2015). The Communist Manifesto . London: Penguin Classics; 01 edition (26 Feb. 2015).

Gaskell, E. (1993). North and South. London: Wordsworth Editions; New edition edition .

Marx, K. (2017). wage-labour and Capital . Birmingham : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform .

Moore, G. (2018). The Victorian Novel in Context. London: Continuum (28 Jun. 2012).

Neesham, C., ; Dibben, M. (2016). Class Conflict and Social Order in Smith and Marx: The Relevance of Social Philosophy to Business Management. Philosophy of Management.

Neesham, C., ; Dibben, M. (2016). Class Conflict and Social Order in Smith and Marx: The Relevance of Social Philosophy to Business Management. Philosophy of Management.

Newey, V. (2003). The Scriptures of Charles Dickens: Novels of Ideology, Novels of the Self (The Nineteenth Century Series). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge; 1 edition (23 Dec. 2003).

O’Brien, P. (2015). Industrialization, Typologies and History. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 872.

Parkins, W. (2004). Women, mobility and modernity in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. Women’s Studies International Forum.

Renzi, T. (2010). What a ‘CHARACTER’. The Writer, Jan 2010, Vol.123(1), pp.26-28.

Rosenberg, E. (1999). Great Expectations: Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Contexts, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions) . United States: W W Norton & Co Inc (Np) (Jan. 1999).


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