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Social Class/ Social Status in a Post-Industrialized Society - Essay Example

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Introduction Henry James is considered as one of the key figures in the realm of literary criticism and become one of the leading American writers to define the social relationships and interactions between Americans and Europeans. He was born in a wealthy New York family however spent most of his life in England where he was naturalized as citizen of the country one year before his death…
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Social Class/ Social Status in a Post-Industrialized Society
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Download file to see previous pages What is also important to understand that his work is mostly rooted into the different sociological changes which were taking place within European and American society during 19th Century? Sociological criticism is a realm under which the literature is largely understood from the perspective of the social context. Viewing the same from a larger social context, this type of criticism views the literature from different sociological constructs and serves as a normative way of understanding the society and the social construction of a society. There are two most important sub-types of this criticism i.e. Marxist and feminist criticism. Both these approaches are extensively applied in order to put any literary piece within its social context. This paper will discuss two of the important works of Henry James including Daisy Miller and The Bostonians and will present a discussion as to how the political, socio-economic and cultural developments influenced the overall development of his work. Sociological Criticism Sociological criticism is considered as one of the leading types of literary criticisms which view the development of literature within a particular context of the society. The discussion of this nature therefore can include discussion on society, social relationships and other historical events which can affect the society during the period in which writings were produced. An important criterion therefore is to view the sociological criticism from different political philosophies prevailing at that time. As such, while conducting sociological criticism; one needs to view things not only from the perspective of liberalism as well as the Marxism, feminism as well as the conservatism. As such the overall criticism comprehends different political philosophies and perspectives prevailing at the time of writings. (Harrington, 2004) In its real essence, sociological criticism argues that the literary works written during any period should reflect their social context within which they are embedded. This also requires that the authors must discuss the very dynamics of the society in which they work and write and should give due consideration to the changes taking place over the period of time in a given society. What is also important to understand that this type of criticism can also allow the author to fully explore and understand the dominant political and social philosophies of the time? This would invariably allow the authors/writers to write on the current events of their time in greater depth and giving them their true social and historical context. Henry James- a short biographical note Before presenting the critical analysis, it is important to discuss the life and works of Henry James in general to set a historical background of his work. He was born in New York in a wealthy and intellectual family in 1843. His work is considered as distinguished in the sense that his work was based on an extensive commentary on the politics, social class and status as well as discussing some of the themes based on personal freedom such as feminism. Since his early childhood he was exposed towards the English, French, Russian as well as American classical literature. This exposure allowed him to understand the dynamics of each genre of literature from a different perspective and allowed him to become a more mature writer. It is also importan ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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