Literature, Language, and Life

Lodge’s Points Regarding Marxism:

Human Nature (Pg.

  • Followers of Marxism believe that humans are completely materialistic.
  • Believe that humans are independent.
  • Theorize that humans are naturally social beings and a human’s interactions tend to define their conscious.

Class Struggle: (Pg. 230, 232, 231)

  • The constant conflict between the people who have and the people who do not. People in a higher class with more money will consistently control and keep down the people below them through money or even heredity. The lower class will be at a constant conflict to try and rise above the person or people who are wealthier than them.

Major Ideals of Marxism: (Pg. 232, 

  • The belief of Marxism surrounds the idea that capitalism can only thrive on the exploitation of the working class.
  • Abolition of property and land and application of all rents of land to public purposes
  • Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
  • No ownership of private property

View on culture and Tradition: (230, 239,

  • Marxists see tradition as a way to keep those who have wealth and power keeping it and staying above those who do not. Also, it is a way for those who do not have money or wealth to gain what they desire.

Topic of Discussion: The Paradise of the Blind can be profitably examined through the critical lens of literary Marxism.

I. Human Nature: 

Humans are completely materialistic.

Marxists are known to define humans as creatures who are materialistic and who indirectly/directly associate important emotions or events with material objects.

Relation to The Paradise of the Blind: In chapters 5-6 Que discovers a new purpose by giving gifts to her nephews and fails to give much to her own daughter. This is return makes Hang feel unappreciated and and unloved. This is proof that humans do associate intense emotions such as love with materialistic objects. It also confirms this argument due to the fact that although Hang is not necessarily concerned with presents or any tangible object, she still feels the love draining from her mother’s heart because received nothing, while her cousins were given so much.

What is learned: By viewing this scenario from the standpoint of  a Marxist, it is easily seen that

Theorize that humans are naturally social beings and a human’s interactions tend to define their conscious.

Humans are naturally proven to be social beings that are impacted by the interactions we participate in with others.

Relation to The Paradise of the Blind: The author of The Paradise of the Blind uses remarkable language to illustrate the interactions between different characters and this later is shown to effect Hang’s present self, her future self and has an impact on her perception of her past. For example, the subject of fathers is sensitive for Hang, but it is only because of the first interactions she had with a neighbor who insulted her.

“The neighbor snapped at me “your own father you poor thing”

“I ran in to the garden. They had mocked me, insulted me, the fatherless child”

II. Class Struggle: 

Defined as those with wealth is society also control the means of production and from what wealth is made.  Also defined as: a consistent struggle between classes, those who have money will always try and make more to keep down those who do not. Those who do not have money will try to rise above those who do.

Relation to the Paradise of the Blind:

This is seen in chapter 3 of Paradise of the Blind, when hang’s Uncle Chinh describes street vendors as enemies to the revolution because they are considered being part of the bourgeoisie. Another example of those who are wealthy control those who are not is seen in chapter 7, when Aunt Tam is taking care and financially providing for Hang instead of the her own mother. These are just two example however, through the impressive way the author structures her novel, it connects Hang’s memories to the various critiques of the major ideals within Communism. However, through the opinions of Que and Uncle Chinh it is easily shown that class struggle is real and it is what keeps those who have wealth in power and those who do not under those who do.

*INSERT CRITICAL TEXTUAL QUOTATION*

III. Major Ideals of Marxism:

The belief of Marxism surrounds the idea that capitalism can only thrive on the exploitation of the working class.

IV. View on Culture and Tradition: 

 

 


2 Comments

  1. noorchughtai says:

    It was extremely insightful reading about Marxism and it’s application in “Paradise of the Blind”. After reading your blogpost, I can now clearly see Marxism being demonstrated throughout the novel; an example being one you spoke of in regards to human nature and Hang’s relationship with her mother, Que.

  2. mehdyelouassi says:

    Prior to reading the novel Paradise of the Blind we engaged in the Interactive Oral activity (IO). One of the topics touched on was Vietnamese culture and values. In your opinion is the structure of the Vietnamese cultural hierarchy a prerequisite to the assimilation of Marxist ideologies into it? Can you identify any specific cultural institutions that Vietnamese society that may have facilitated the assimilation of Marxist concepts into the society?
    eg. Vietnamese perception regarding family may have led to the easy acceptance of Marxist ideas such as common ownership?

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