Choose one of the two prompts below and write a ten-page (~2500 words) paper using a Marxist Theory Lens.
In addition to An Ideal Husband, each paper must use at least five credible outside sources. Use MLA Style. Attach a Works Cited Page to the end of your essay. The Works Cited Page is not part of the page minimum.
1. Analyze the characters, setting, and/or dialogue through Marxist Criticism and integrate research about the author, time period, and any other applicable historical connections. Support your claims with evidence from the text.
2. Analyze the position of women in society in An Ideal Husband according to Marxist theory. Support your claims with evidence from the text. Integrate research about the author (including his mother), time period, and any other applicable historical contexts.
Sample Brainstorming Questions for Prompt 1 (This is just a sample; it is not an exhaustive list.)
Who are the powerful people? Who are the powerless people? Explain.
How does Mrs. Cheveley plan to reveal Sir Robert’s past?
– What does his past have to do with social status?
What information does the setting provide about the distribution of wealth?
How does the setting relate to the historical culture?
How is wit expressed in the dialogue?
Does the text itself match the culture of the time period?
What were Wilde’s ambitions, values, or morals? Is there evidence of these in the text?
What events happened in Wilde’s life? Is there evidence of these in the text?
What socioeconomical class was Wilde in? Is there evidence of this in the text?
What was the time period like?
How popular was the work in its day? Who read it? What did they think?
Who published the play? Was it distributed well?
How popular was the play’s performance? What happened surrounding it?
Sample Brainstorming Questions for Prompt 2: (This is just a sample; it is not an exhaustive list.)
What five liberal associations does Wilde mention in the play? What is Lady Chiltern’s role with them? How do these relate to the events of the time in 1895 London?
How do the women speak, dress, and act in the play? How does this relate to the time?
Analyze Lady Cheveley’s villainous role in the play. Was that normal for the time?