Literary Theory

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Africa Emergent by Nadine Gordimer

A better understanding of literary theory can be gained by investigating the etymology of the word theory itself. Literary theory, then, offers to us a view of life, an understanding of why we interpret texts the way we do. A well-articulated literary theory also assumes that an innocent reading of a text or a sheerly emotional or spontaneous reaction to a work does not exist because literary theory questions the assumptions, beliefs, and feelings of readers, asking why they respond to a text in a certain way. (Charles E. Bressler, 2011) . There are two theories in this story which were Marxist Criticism and Historical Criticism.

Marxist Criticism is about expressed the interests of the dominant social, economic, and political group of era. They usually made economic inequality seem just and right, and they made the rule of those in dominance seem natural and legitimate. The purpose of the ideas, then, was to ensure that the dominant group or class remained in power. I think this theory was appropriate because in the story shows that system apartheid had been practiced. This system allowed the whites grew rich by exploiting the blacks. The white made system apartheid illegal so that they can control economic and social system in that country. Example of Marxist Criticism in Africa Emergent is Racial Oppression. In that story we can see how Nadine Gordimer shows same talents that a white and a black person had but both of them had difference status in the society. The white man is an architect with more formal education. His position holds more prestige and economic value in the society. While Elias a black man, represents non formal education and has low status in the society. Though both architect and sculptor can be thought as an artistic work but still the architect holds more power just because he was a white. If we think logically, the black person should hold more power because the sculptor’s creativity is more...
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