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Marxist Analysis exemplar

Marxist Analysis exemplar

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Published by Danika Barker

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Published by: Danika Barker on Oct 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Marxist Analysis -
 A Pair of Silk Stockings A pair of silk stockings
 by Kate Chopin is a short story that takes place in a smalltown during the Great Depression. Our main character- Mrs. Sommers, finds herself “theunexpected possessor of fifteen dollars.” She decides to go shopping and purchase percale for new shirt waists, patches, material for gowns, stockings, and hats for thechildren. However, with a little persuasion Mrs. Sommers decides to spend the money onherself. When analyzing the text from a Marxist perspective we see that the story suggestthat in this time period it was wrong for a woman to spend money on herself, rather sheshould be spending the extra money she has on her family.This story takes place during the great depression, during the great depressionmany families were struggling to provide their families with the basics, including foodand clothing. It was ideal for women to put their families before themselves, often goingwithout. By Mrs. Sommers saying that she was so busy feeding the children that sheforgot to have lunch herself, and the fact that when she first got the money that shethought about buying fabric so that she could make the children new clothes, and getthem the new shoes that would last. “But that day she was a little faint and tired. She hadswallowed a light luncheon-no! When come to think of it, between getting the childrenfed and the place righted, and preparing herself for the shopping bout, she had actuallyforgotten to eat any luncheon at all!”(pg.87) This goes to prove that in these times, thewomen’s jobs were to take care of the children and take care of the house, often goingwithout themselves, while the men were at war or at work.The power in the text comes with money. Mrs. Sommers finds/gets the money soshe has the power. Throughout the story Mrs. Sommers has the power because she is ableto spend her fortune in any way she wishes. Mrs. Sommers has economic power.However, due to the depression she does not have very much social power. As the text progresses Mrs. Sommers realizes that she doesn’t have to spend her money on thechildren, rather she can spend it on herself. “She seemed for the times to be taking a restfrom that laborious and fatiguing function and to have abandoned herself to somemechanical impulse that directed her actions and freed her of responsibility.”(pg.88)The dominant social narratives that are present in
A Pair of Silk Stockings
is that ittakes place during the great depression. During the great depression women wereexpected to take care of the family before themselves. It was proper for the women tomake due with what they had, mending old clothing, and spending limited amounts of money on new items. They were to patch up holes, darn socks, and sew clothing for thefamily. Mrs. Sommers followed this tradition because when she first went shopping shethought only of buying new fabric, and spending extra money on shoes, so they wouldlast, and new stockings so she could save some darning. However, then she realized thatshe could spend the money on herself and get herself something nice, and exquisite for achange.Mrs. Sommers realizes a little while into her shopping trip, that it was her moneyto spend; she could spend it any way she wished. She didn’t need to follow the norm, she

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