Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The children's book and Disney movie, Cinderella, is an example of marxism. The time era of Cinderella was very big on social class and order throughout a community. Cinderella's step sisters and step mother were protagonists of marxism. They had hired help that they looked down upon. The three liked to consider themselves upper class. The step mother does anything she can to get her daughters noticed by the royal family, especially the prince. Cinderella defies the norm of marxism by capturing the Prince's heart and living happily ever after with him.


Hermione Granger and the Mudblood struggle

Even though there were only a select group of people that  believed that pure  bloods were better, you can still compare it to the Marxist idea of the bourgeoisie and proletariat because it is the select few "righteous" people overpowering those who were seemingly not worthy.  If these people had their way, the mudbloods were be treated inhumanly because they were not worthy to be practicing magic.  They were viewed as below the purebloods because of their heritage and long history of wizards and witches. 

Draco Malfoy: No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood! 

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 

Draco: "I got the idea of poisoning the mead from the Mudblood Granger, as well, I heard her talking in the library about Flich not recognizing potions..."

Dumbledore: "Please do not use that offensive word in front of me."

Draco: "You care about me saying "mudblood" when I'm about to kill you?"

Dumbledore: "Yes, I do."

-Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


                       “I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery.”

The novel Kindred is a great example of Marxism because it is about slavery and the differences between white and African American people.  In this book a modern day couple is sent back into time and ending up in Maryland in the 1800s.  The husband in this couple was white and the wife was African Amercian.  When she arrived in Maryland she was treated as a slave and she could not believe what the slaves had to go through.  Since she is now a slave and her husband is white they are not allowed to be together so he ends up leaving Maryland.  Not until the end of the book are they finally reunited and are able to travel back to their original time period.

 “I was beginning to realize that he loved the woman - to her misfortune. There was no shame in raping a black woman, but there could be shame in loving one.”

Les Miz

I think a good example of a Marxist cultural problem is found in Les Miserables. In this play, you have a high-ranking ruling class that cares nothing for the poor, and a poor dying class that is a powder-keg to revolution. It culminates in a grand battle, while a majority of society sits idly by.

Monday, February 25, 2013


If you haven't seen the DreamWorks movie Antz (1998), you are missing out an excellent example of Marxism.  The story began on an anthill will millions of ants are working on a conformity system. The main character, Z, is an average ant worker who serves pretty low on the ants' system.  Of course, for every system to run smoothly there must be a leader.  The ants are ruled by an old king and Princess Bala who eventually gets involved with Z.

However, the ants do not willingly work under their system.  They serve the grasshoppers who demands the ants to harvest food for all the grasshoppers before the winter season.  If the ants do not collect enough food, the grasshoppers will eat all the ants.

No Choice


               The Giver by Lois Lowry is an example of Marxism in literature.  In order to avoid pain and suffering, society has eliminated the people's choice.  The people are assigned specific jobs, interests, spouses, and number of children.  The only other "option" is death.  The book shows how a society can manipulate class structure and conflict, claiming utopia but delivering suffering for those who labor for the wealthy.    

Moving Through the Social Classes with Black Beauty

A classic novel, and one of my all-time favorites, Black Beauty is a great example of Marxism and the social class divide. As the reader follows Black Beauty's journey from one owner to the next, he/she is exposed to the vast differences between the poor, middle, working and noble classes.

The lower classes Beauty becomes a part of cherish him and his hard work. He is well taken care of. Even though the days seem long and the work remains heavy, he seems content. When he comes into the hands of the higher social classes, however, he is taken for granted. In some instances, he is not regarded as anything more than something for show-- something replaceable.

The two best examples I can give to show the social class divide are between Jerry the cab driver and the Duchess of Earlshall.

The Duchess of Earlshall is all about appearances (very materialistic). The horses' heads must be raised, they must trot in-step and they must be presented in perfect show at all times. The Duchess is a perfect example of the Bourgeoisie class level of Marxism.


Jerry the cab driver, however, works hard for his living, tailoring to the needs of those who have money in order to just get by. The work is relentless and offers little to know regard for the life of the driver or the horse, yet Beauty is treated like a part of the family by this man. Jerry is a great example of the Proletariat class level of Marxism.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood is a classic example of class conflict. Robin Hood is known for taking from the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood actually becomes an outlaw because of class conflict with foresters. His actions are his way of pursuing his collective interest in society. In Robin Hood's society the majority of the people had little to no capital gain because the bourgeoisie were exploiting them. Robin Hood is a proletariat who fights and takes from the bourgeoisie for other proletariats.


Disney also created a film based off Robin Hood with the same ideas. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Class Conflict In The Education System

The movie Freedom Writers is an example of Marxism because there are many examples of class conflict, such as:
1.       1. When the administration discriminates against students who live in projects and ghettos.

  2. When the students discriminate against Mrs. G because she’s from a nice neighborhood.

  3. When the students make comments about rich white people.

"Allie and Noah"


     In the Nicholas Sparks novel, The Notebook, two lovers from opposite ends of the social class spectrum become engrossed in a heart felt passion against the norms of society. We see Allie Hamilton weighed down from the pressure of her upper class family while the lower class, Noah Calhoun works at the steel mill and later as a carpender. I see the Hamilton family as bourgeoisie whereas the Calhouns as the working proletariat. The Notebook does not really show the Marxian push towards a communist society, but I do sense class conflict that ultimately creates barriers between Allie and Noah. From my interpretation of the book and after watching the movie, I feel that Allie's family would have advocated Marxism because of their self-elevating view over lower class citizens.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Memoirs of a Geisha

In Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden describes the world of the geisha.

“She paints her face to hide her face. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret..”

The geisha are the proletariat in this world, their goods are their entertainment and their beauty. The bourgeois of their world are the powerful businessmen who seek out their charms. They exist in a class of their own and their worth is established by the business men who pay call to them.

Brave New World

"A Whole New World"
Marxist values can be connected directly with many utopian novels. The "perfect society" is often one that the government controls, making life better (supposedly) for its citizens. Under this kind of rule, very few people have power to make decisions for the larger population.

In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley creates a society that seems to be just what the world needs. One of the components of this society is a lack of family. Society is focused on meaningless sex, and getting pregnant is a scandal. (Well...that's not too far off our society today, is it?) The problem is that the masses don't get to decide this. People are not allowed to have children. This is much like what Marx talks about with the largest group of people sharing what they have. In this case, though, it is their values that they must share, not their resources.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oliver Twist

When I think of Marxism and class conflict in the work of 19th century literature my mind goes right to Oliver Twist. We see examples of class conflict and religion deeply engrained in Charles Dickens’ novel. Oliver is born into a poor house and is mistreated by those who run the poor house in the name of being God’s servants. The rejection of religion or at least the rejection of the actions of those who pretend to serve it are presented in this section. After he finally runs away from the poor house he makes his way to London which shows even more clearly the divide between classes. The streets and people are all dirty messes. When Oliver is taken in by the artful dodger we see another side of the underclass, thievery.  They are first class cons in an attempt to survive. Later we are introduced to the refined upper class through the characters of Rose Maylie and Mr. Brownlow who take Oliver in and eventually provide him with a safe home and comfort. They provide a contrast to the problems of the poor industrial inner cities which clearly represent the proletariat society.  

Persepolis and Marxism

Majane Satrapi's graphic novel details her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. According to Marxism, Satrapi's family were the Proletarians whose lives were controlled by the Bourgeois-the Iranian government. Her family had to conform to the Bourgeois restrictions, which abolished secular schools and forced all women to wear veils, among other things. In accordance with Marxism theories, the Islamic Revolution occurred as a result of class conflict, and the country underwent a process of change to pursue the collective interests of freedom for the Iranian Proletarians.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I'm gonna drop that dude.

I'm going to drop him, than wing him, then I'll turn him, I'll get three, and then I'll take it back and shoot the half, roll him over and flatten him. This sentence probably sounds strange. Outside of the wrestler community this probably sounds either sensual or really brutal. But that sentence was just a wrestler describing his strategy to defeat his opponent. The wrestling interpretative community is very simple and easy to become a part of. The best way to figure the lingo out and be able to interact with the community is to find a decent wrestler and sit in the stands with his mother and or sister. It seems that wrestling moms and sister are the most obnoxious and are more unashamed of what the lingo may sound like to someone who is not part of the interpretive community

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Puke and Run" and "I Open My Head at You." That's right, I bet you've rarely heard those phrases, that is because they come from a video game. "Sweet Dayo," a game on the Wii U has the players choose between either being two guards or four animals in a garden. The "animals" are trying to collect gumballs in their large, animal shaped hats, the guards are trying to stop them. The more gumballs you get, the slower you are, but you can drop the gumballs by having your hat spit them out. Thus, "Puke and Run" was born.

"bear arms"

Anyone who is familiar with the second amendment knows that it says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." But if one were not familiar with this law or was from a different country they would not know what this picture was talking about.  They would be very confused as to what type of "bear arms" were being talked about.  This picture is targeted more towards a community that is familiar with guns and the laws that go along with them.   

The Doctor

Doctor who fans are ones that get a lot of strange looks. That's because they are a defiant example of an interpretive community. The show is filled with such strange words that if anyone else were to over hear them they would think we were making up our own language or have gone crazy. There are even some good friends of mine who like to dress up as the characters on any given day and even some who have came over to me crying from a certain episode they have just watched. Now anyone outside of this unique community would probably just shake their heads or laugh because they have not yet seen the show and don't understand it in a way that the fans do. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

A horse is a horse

Horse people are one-of-a-kind people that the rest of the world does not completely understand. This interpretive community, like many others, is not something a person can just jump into either, though most of the population believes they can. Look at the fashion world. Today, I can wear my riding boots and jodhpurs (riding pants) in public without anyone saying a word. Turn on the television and you'll see celebrities like Kim Kardashian wearing the same thing (but arguably not authentic).

Being a part of the equine community, my favorite is when people go on a trail ride once or twice and consider themselves expert horse people. Hello?! You were riding in shorts and tennis shoes on a horse that knows nothing but "follow the leader." When your shoe gets caught in the stirrup and you get dragged, don't go complaining about how it was the horse's fault.

People in the horse community use the terms foal, filly, colt, gelding, stallion, mare and pony in the correct context and are also aware that ponies and miniature horses are not the same thing.

I could write an entire novel on the equine interpretive community, but I think you get the idea. Welcome to my world!

Sports Fans

An example of interpretive community can be found in sports fans.  Some fans go to the extreme, and many people who don’t enjoy sports cannot understand the faithfulness of those who watch the game ‘til the end even while their team is losing by a considerable margin.  Sports fans have their own language, much like Trekkies or Star Wars junkies; words and phrases have taken on new meanings that the outside communities wouldn’t comprehend.  Established rivalries go even further, and those not involved simply do not understand the depth of the competition.  References to sports can usually be understood to everyone, but those of us who really do immerse ourselves into the game(s) are able to fully appreciate the meaning behind the words.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


The interpretive community of writers is one few others understand. We writers draw inspiration from daily, everyday experiences, and occasionally carry notebooks around to jot down spontaneous ideas. When the writing begins, writers may be glued to their notebooks or computers for hours at a time, closing out the world around them. Outside of the writer's interpretive community, few understand the
satisfaction of finishing a novel, an essay, a paragraph, a good topic sentence, or even an appropriate word choice. Writers use their imaginations widely and often, formulating new ideas from even the most unlikely situations. 

Lord of the Eagles

When I think of interpretive communities I have to say one of the biggest ones that pop up in my life are in connection with Lord of the Rings. Most of my friends already know it's one of my obsessions in life.

There are actually two levels to this group. There is the much broader level which includes everyone who has ever watched any of the movies. Here we can compare characters we like an dislike, take about out favorite parts, and makes jokes about why the eagles don't just fly them the whole way to Mount Doom.

The smaller more intense group is those who have not only watched the movie, but read the books as well. These people  can share in the same discussions as the larger group, but they know more of the details, parts that are not in the movie which are just as epic. These people know that the Eagles didn't fly them the whole way because they are independent creatures and would never subjugate themselves do such things. They also are not really friends of the Dwarves as suggested in the movie.

Anyway as you can see those who have seen or read Lord of the Rings are part of the interpretive community, complete with their own set of jokes and inside references.

Cool like Chernobyl

Interpretive communities. I've observed this on a number of occasions. Wow, that sounded so robotic. I gotta stop watching Bones before doing homework. Back to the subject, I look around at my friends occasionally and wonder why each group works. In my mind, I dissect as to why certain friends wouldn't get certain friends. I think about how each group has their dynamic.

Group A) From last summer. All female. Definite fun dynamic. Confidants. All of our jokes are about sex and Fifty Shades of Gray. Grey? Ehh, I won't grace that a double check. This community understands my love life and we discuss openly the painful and terrible things in our lives. There's a huge amount of trust. I wouldn't trade this group for the world.

Group B) Newly formed. Half male and female. There's an artistic nature to this group. I'm reminded of what Jack Kerouac said about young people not having a proper talk about souls before submitting to sex. Not that we're having sex but rather that we often end up in soul searching conversation. This group is not afraid to analyze the deeper things that happen around us. I love this group so much, because I feel like we're going to change things. In twenty years, we'll be meeting for coffee in some over priced cafe in NY. All of us successful and still ready to theorize about the newest thing on our minds. I wouldn't trade this group for the world either.

Both of these groups are amazing people that I adore. They sometimes interact with each other but mostly they exist in different parts of my life. One group wouldn't understand the other's jokes. They wouldn't understand why we keep talking about certain things and don't talk about others. They're two different communities and to understand them you have to be a part of both of them. I imagine that someone hearing our conversations would be somewhat horrified and amused. There's a heavy amount of coded language involved. It's that language that separates the two. It's what makes them two different communities.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

beach guard problems

This is literally how I feel all summer about my job. Every vacationer thinks my job is awesome because I sit around all day. My friends think I get to tan from 8-5 every day. My boss thinks my eyes don't leave the ocean all day long (and that I don't use my cell phone on duty). My mom thinks I save a life every single day. #lifeguardprobs

We Are English Majors

As I'm sure you've experienced, English majors have their own interpretive community. We write for fun, read more than we eat, get angry when we find grammatical errors in education books, and quote novels in casual conversation even though we know no one will get it.
Did you know that we also have a meme so that we may revel in our awesomeness?  Fellow English majors/minors/professors, I present to you the F Yeah English Major Armadillo. I hope it makes you feel understood.


Twitter is a completely new world to a lot of people even though it was launched worldwide in 2006.  If you do not have a twitter, you are pretty much out of the social networking loop.  However, Twitter is not solemnly popular only for tweets, but the hashtagging.

Oh, you don’t have a Twitter?  So, you don’t know what hashtagging is?

Hashtags can be placed before, after, or in the middle of a tweet.  What is the purpose of hashtagging?  It is a key word or phrase(s) that summarizes the tweet or thought presented.  The pound sign is placed in front of the word or phrase to symbolize hashtag.

“Watching Sweet Brown in class #IGotTimeFoDat

“Retweet if you have ever been the last player at practice #dedication