Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South: Breaking from Althusser's System

Souder, Jaimee (2015) Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South: Breaking from Althusser's System. [Abstract]

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For centuries, humans have had a desire to classify everything, including themselves. Society is organized into a system of classes, rules, and conventions. But, how true or false is this system? Elizabeth Gaskell, a social novelist, seems to address this in her novel North and South. Reviewing the novel, looking at characters and class relations within it, and finding whether or not it fits into a Marxist system and theory like Louis Althusser’s reveals Gaskell’s statement. Where does the system hold true? Where does it become problematized? Arguably, the system holds true for characters who are dedicated to their class. Then, it becomes problematized with other characters, especially the protagonist, Margaret, who are not fully dedicated to their class.They move or are moving between classes and interacting, which affects their relationships. Althusser does not account for this moving. In fact, the system he creates is too ambiguous, not allowing for such complex relations. Therefore, this society that Gaskell presents propagandizes and undermines his system. In doing so, she highlights that society is more complicated and complex than thought.

Item Type: Abstract
Created by Student or Faculty: Student
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South, Althusser, Marxism, society, class relations
Subjects: Undergrad Research Symposium
Depositing User: Jaimee Souder
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2015 22:09
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2015 10:06
URI: http://fortworks.fortlewis.edu/id/eprint/718

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