Sociological Criticism

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Literary criticism Pages: 2 (614 words) Published: July 24, 2011
Sociological criticism examines literature in the political, economic and cultural context in which it can be either written or received. It looks at the sociological status of the author to evaluate how the profession of the writer in a milieu affected what was written. It analyzes the social content of literary works culturally, economically and politically. Sociological criticism also examines the role the audience has in shaping literature. A view of Shakespeare might look at the economic position of Elizabethan playwrights and actors. It also might study the political ideas in the plays or discuss how the nature of a theatrical audience. Marxist criticism explores the ideological content of literature. It is frequently evaluative and judges literary work better than others on an ideological basis. There is a danger in sociological criticism of imposing the critic’s personal politics on the work in question and evaluating it according to how closely it endorses that ideology.

Content determines form. The writer’s ideology of the world is what determines the style and intention. Style ceases to be a formalistic category. It is the view of the world, the ideology underlying a writer’s work. It is the writers attempt to reproduce this view of the world, which constitutes his intention. Ones pure existence cannot be distinguished from their social environment.

Watkins discusses about the devastating effect that money can have on a family. Work is not a means of meeting basic human needs, but a way of producing greater sums of money. “ People set a tone of need in their world that generates intense and pervasive anxiety, which then is passed down to their children, who interiorize the values and attitudes of the adult world and set about to satisfy the demands of that world.” In other words, what the parents do have big impacts on their kid’s lives. Paul is a laborer for his mother whom he gives all of his money to. As a handicapper he invests money, betting...
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