Proletariat versus Bourgeoisie in a comparative study of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess”

Hossein Alikhan Pour shah abadi, Sahar Taheri Mohammad Abadi

Abstract


This essay discusses two literary works addressing the powerlessness of two characters surrounded in a bourgeois system: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown (1846) and Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess” (1842). These two works show the plight of the characters dominated in bourgeois societies. My Last Duchess and Young Goodman Brown are among the works their writers had very little in mind about Marxism when they wrote them. Anyhow, one can analyze the above mentioned works on the basis of the Marxist elements within them to see the impact of bourgeoisie on the lives of the proletariats. One can realize the influential factor of base in determining the superstructure of the society: religion, culture, art and literature are all parts of the superstructure which are dominated by the base in any community. It is shown that the people’s interests, desires and their ideology are defined on the basis of the economic structure. Some critics’ views, such as Person, Bressler, Hawlin and etc. as well as the writer’s view will be used to discuss the main points. The class conflict is currently visible between the bourgeois and the proletariat system.

Keywords


ideology; base; superstructure; class conflicts; proletariat; bourgeoisie

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