Narratives Construct a Way of Thinking for Us

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3. ‘Narratives construct a way of thinking for us.’ Discuss with reference to ONE form of ideological criticism.

When studying media texts it is possible to argue that the narrative shapes the way in which the audience thinks to agree with a particular mindset of beliefs or values. I therefore proclaim that, in this essay, I intend to investigate the legitimacy of this idea particularly through the Marxist philosophy. By applying the ideologies of Marxism to different means of literature and film it is possible to put forward the notion that the texts that we consume have been crafted in such a way as to manipulate us into pre-determined reactions compared to those of our own accord. However I will also discuss the extent to which this influence is successful on impacting our mindset through theorists that represent the challenging issues of ideological instability, preferred reading and resistance in subversion. The texts I will use to examine the claim in question are the Disney films, A Bugs Life (1998), The Lion King (1994) and the novel The Hunger Games (2008).

Marxism argues that the ‘dominant ideas in any society are those which are drawn up, distributed and imposed by the ruling class to secure and perpetuate its rule.´ (Strinati, 2004). This statement would imply the idea that all narratives identifiable in media literature enforce the beliefs and values of those in power. This puts forward the idea that despite what the audience may think is their own way of thinking; their reactions have already been constructed for them. However, this claim can be challenged when considering how ‘sophisticated’ the reader is when consuming the text. Arguably, lower classes can find themselves immediately pacified by the element of power coercing them into social norms that they ordinarily they would reject. The basis of Marxist beliefs are focused around economic power and with the western world centering its dominant ideologies around that of a capitalist



Bibliography: Althusser, L (1994) [cited by] Menon, N (2004). Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond The Law. United States of America: Permanant Black. 32. Barthes, R (1970) [cited by] Makaryk, I, A (1995). Encyclopedia Or Contemporary Literary Theory: Approaches, Scholars, Terms. Canada: University of Toronto Press. 616. Fiske, J (2011). Introduction to Communication Studies.. 3rd ed. UK, USA and Canada: Routledge. 23-27. Hall, S (2005). Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers In Cultural Studies, 1972-79. New York: Academic Division of Unwin Hywin. 127. Marx, K (1852) [cited by] Gilberg, T (1989). Coalition Strategies of Marxist Parties. United States of America: Duke University Press. 32. Strinati, D (2004). An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture. 2nd ed. USA and Canada: Routledge. 120.

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