Maxist View of Rose for Emily and Odour to Chrysanthemums

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Marxism Pages: 3 (1206 words) Published: October 20, 2008
During the Realism Period, Marxism was a critical approach used by many writers. Authors, of that period, paid close attention to details and accurate facts. Marxism typically refers to a diverse set of social, economic, and historical realities. Both, “A Rose for Emily”, written by William Faulkner, and “Odour to Chrysanthemums”, written by D.H. Lawrence exhibit strong evidence that social interaction, economic status, and historical prospective isolate people from society. Both stories depict a woman, in different extreme circumstances, alienated from the world around her. In “Odour to Chrysanthemums” the main character is named Elizabeth. Elizabeth was an educated, proud, respected woman who was a wife of a coal miner, a devoted mother, and part of the working class. In a “Rose for Emily” the main character is Emily, at one time an aristocrat, and a symbol of the past generation. To prove that the three realities, mentioned above, could lead to alienation the reader must examine each point of interest, starting with the historical background. When analyzing the history of a story, the reader must research the period it was written. “Odour to Chrysanthemums” was written between the end of the Victorian period in 1901, and the beginning of WWI in 1914. During this period coal was a main energy source. Mines, the sites where coal was extracted, were dreary and the people involved in this type of work often led bleak, despairing lives. Human labor was needed for this work, and the exhaustion it produced, coupled with life threatening work conditions was often relieved in pubs, or bars. Unfortunately, as Lawrence shows, the comforts of the pub were paid for at a high price in alcoholism and the disruption of home life. Wives, or Elizabeth, in this case, were burdened with the care of large families on their husband’s meager salary. Elizabeth was very alienated from the world around her because of her role as wife and mother in this specific time period. She was...
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