Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marxist Reading Response

        Lois Tyson's marxist reading of the Great Gatsby was severely lacking in an actual proven point. Throughout her reading, her only point seemed to be that there is money in the Great Gatsby. Woah. First, marxist theory does not seem to be the strongest of theories; it can't carry its own weight. It needs the help of other theories, such as psychoanalytic theory. Tyson shows this right off the bat when she writes, "Rather it is a psychological attitude that has invaded every domain of our existence." (70) Obviously, marxist theory is one of the weaker theories since it needs to draw from others in order to prove a point. Secondly, Tyson cannot seem to prove that Fitzgerald was making either side attractive. Tyson points out, "...the unflattering portraits of George and Myrtle Wilson deflect our attention from their victimization by the capitalist system..." (75) First, Lois Tyson talks about how Fitzgerald makes Tom and Daisy, the higher class society, look bad, and then she talks about how he makes the lower class look bad. Obviously, Fitzgerald was not writing the Great Gatsby to glorify either side since he portrays both spectrums equally unattractively. Finally, Tyson blames the novel for the holes in her theory rather than the theory itself. Tyson shifts the weakness of the theory onto the book by writing, "...the novel is also flawed, from a Marxist perspective..." (76) If you can't prove a point with a book, it isn't the novel or author's fault, you clearly are not using the right theory. Especially compared to her stronger readings, Tyson's Marxist analysis of the Great Gatsby was disappointing and flawed.

Tyson's other theories are so strongly argued, why was she so weak in this department?
What was the point of the essay?

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