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Marxist Interpretation of Hairstyles of the Damned - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Marxist Interpretation of Hairstyles of the Damned Introduction ‘Hairstyles of the Damned’ is set in the 1990s’ Chicago South Side, with the author employing the setting’s dialect in the characters. The novel revolves around Brian Oswald, a boy in Brother Rice, a boys’ catholic school who struggles to discover himself and find where he belongs…
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Marxist Interpretation of Hairstyles of the Damned
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Download file to see previous pages Gretchen is an overweight tom-boy, rude, ballsy and punk rocker who “wasn't the most feminine girl in the world, sincerely,” always involved in fights and is in love with a 26-year old (Meno 4). Brian tries to make her a mix-tape which results in their separation for some time. This struggle for identification recurs in the whole novel as Brian tries to define himself among his peers who have distinct traits that places them is particular classes. The Marxist literary theory attributes such traits to historical forces which shape the environment, character traits of the inhabitants and the language and writing style of the author. Therefore, there are forces that guide the traits and values of the teenagers in the setting which also lead to conflicts among various classes. Siegel defines the Marxist literary theory as a sociological approach in literature that considers the works in question as a result of historical forces whose analysis could be achieved by considering the material conditions that led to its formation. The general focus is on the conflict between the repressed and dominant classes at any age, encouraging art to imitate the objective reality. ‘Hairstyles of the Damned’ provides a perfect example of conflict in different classes due to what the society has upheld over time, particularly among the teenagers. The novel supports the fact that the environment plays an important role in shaping what one would uphold with high esteem and probably consider trendy and fashionable. In the novel, Brian’s lifestyle is shaped differently by the friends he meets and bonds with. As an outsider, it becomes hard for him to make friends and only befriends outsiders like him including Rod, Mike, Dorie and Nick who shape his path towards finding himself and the values in life. Encountering different friends, it would be noted that in every section of the novel, Brian would have his favorite music from different genres in line with what the peers upheld with high regard. The environment further classified them into blacks and whites, cheerleaders and jocks, outcasts and rich kids, burnouts and punks, which shaped her mind and what he would perceive as the desired lifestyle. Gretchen for instance had all she wanted and that is why Brian noted that “she did the things I wish I could do but didn't have the guts to” (Meno 15). The characters in the narration are young with and the adults therein immature. Their major interest is in sex, music, bands, clothing and less on schoolwork. Brian secured a job but co-worker issues stumbled his way. In his racial neighborhood, the parents are less caring and uninvolved in his proper upbringing. This causes teenage aimlessness and indulgence into pop culture without regard for how this causes loss of individuality. The neon colored hair was adored among the young and every other teenager would try to fit into this cultural definition of being in a high social class. Brian seemed to adore characters like Bobby B., a kid from his neighborhood, a year older than him and a senior who “always had about five pairs of girls’ underwear from girls he had made with” (Meno 10). The author glorifies some material aspects of the characters that would appeal to teens like Bobby’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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