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To compare and contrast representation of class in two media texts - Essay Example

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Since the very advent of civilisation, class differences have characterised its development, and indeed the very structure of human society. In this paper, we trace the visualisation of class trends in two sample movies, comparing and contrasting them through different scenes, and applying established class theories in relation to define present media sensibilities in relation to "class"…
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To compare and contrast representation of class in two media texts
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Download file to see previous pages Set in a post-industrial society era (early 1900's), Titanic depicts the wide gulf that existed between the bourgeoisie (the first major industrialists of our age, e.g. among the main characters in the First class berth, it included a "Pittsburgh Steel tycoon, the owner of the fleet that commissioned Titanic and the nouveau riche e.g. a character called Molly Brown) and the proletariat who sell their labour power (the stokers in the boiler room, menservants and most steerage passengers depicted as people who harbour dreams of emigrating to the USA to better their lives). The differences lie everywhere, from the treatment meted out to passengers based on their class, from the snobbish upper-class attitudes and stereotypes about steerage passengers, to the final sinking of the ship where upper class passengers invariably, enjoy first privilege in rescue efforts. Where it concerns applying class theories, there's hardly a more monumental movie ever built than Titanic.
Notting Hill in comparison, is a humble and subtle portrayal of the same class sensibilities with a modern, urban twist. It's about similar attitudes in question here, only the message is more indirect and attributive. Both movies are immensely popular in their own right, and hold a special place in the genre of Romance cinema. So inevitably, in this paper, we shall explore class depiction in media through the perspective of the universal theme called "Love", of opposites attracting, poor guy meets rich girl, and how class differences come in the way of their strong craving for each other.
The most significant work on class studies was performed by Karl Marx, a famous German philosopher, along with Engels. It is important to know that Marxist class theories drew heavily on the political science beliefs of Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, the only difference being in the perspective of opinion. Whereas Smith justified his theories on "wealth creation" as a cause for the common good, Marx looked down upon it as the root cause of all evil. Seen from this end, we can apply class theories of Marx to connect audience sensitivity with the poor male protagonists in both movies, as must have been aimed by the moviemakers.
The fundamental tenet of Marx class theory is that any class identity is forged in relation to means of production, of wealth (Wikipedia). That because of wealth creation, there exist two distinct classes, the bourgeoisie (those who control means of production), and the proletariat who must labour in order to survive. This, Marx argues is the fundamental reason for all class differences to originate. Since the proletariat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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