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Marxist Literary Criticism Applied to Middlemarch

            Marxist Literary Criticism Applied to Middlemarch.
             The Hungarian Marxist theorist, George Lukács, claims that literature can help the proletariat to gain access to the idea of society as a whole instead of just listening to the existing power of a society. Therefore, he argues that "literature can play an important role in the development of this new proletarian consciousness of totality."" Furthermore, he wants to point out that "the greatest artists are those who can effectively represent the totality of human life through literary realism."" To apply the Marxist literary theory to Middlemarch is therefore highly convenient because Eliot wants to deal with real life issues. Her ambition is to create a portrait of the complexity of ordinary people in the small community of Middlemarch in nineteenth century England. She weaves together the town's social relations to a complex social world, where no one occupies the centre as the most important or influential person.
             The basic principles of Marxism are not easy to summarize, but a statement by the German philosopher and economist Karl Marx (1818-1883) provides a general view of the belief of Marxist critics: "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness- The Gramscian Marxist critic, Louis Althusser's most important concept "interpellation- stems from this belief. He describes interpellation as "the process through which individuals are formed as subjects by powerful forces working in the interest of the prevailing ideology of a given society."" Lydgate is one of the characters in the novel that can be seen as an individual marked by this process. He comes to Middlemarch as a reformer of medical practice. F. B. Pinion writes in his A George Eliot Companion that "quackery and excessive drug-prescription being common, Lydgate's policy was to prescribe and not dispense drugs or take a percentage commission from druggists.

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