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A Marxist Reading of ‘The Madwoman of Chaillot’

Behruz Mansuri, Iman Kiyaee, Maryam Ghorbani, Fatemeh Azizmohammadi


Having read the play, it could be understood that ideology and capitalistic attitude which is a recent phenomenon has been spread throughout the world and people have a materialistic view towards and commodify each other. The use and exchange values are replaced by sign exchange value and commodity and goods are changing into master and humanity becomes their slave. Hence commodity fetishism is the new aspect of economic relations. Moreover by means of anarchy and chaos and also unawareness of lower class or proletariats, capitalists can get what they want. However the Marxist theory and reading of the play reveals that finally the proletariats of a society come to consciousness of their being abused by capitalism and revolt against them and live a free life ever after as Marx had predicted it in nineteenth century. In spite of his prediction, this fantasy never comes true in reality and it remains as a fairy tale and that is why this work is categorized in genre of fantasy. Nonetheless analysis of this play from different perspective can show how it is possible.


ideology; capitalism; commodity; fetishism; classism

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