What stuck out to me most about Marxist criticism is that it’s straight up impossible to nail down the theory into one neat idea.

For instance, Robert Dale Parker describes “relative autonomy, agency, and intervention on one side of a continuum and ideology, interpellation, and false consciousness on the other side” (Parker 229). The job of the critic, then, is to navigate this tension, to explore “the intricate negotiations across the interlocking possibilities in any particular cultural activity [including literature]” (231). Now, this (multi-faceted) question could apply to any form of criticism, but I think it still must be asked.

A work of literature may be fully entrapped in an ideology or it may be deliberately resisting interpellation. In any case, how do Marxist critics approach a text? What themes do they look for? What questions do they ask?

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