Exploitation and Estrangement of Migrant Workers in a Capitalist Society: A Marxist Interpretation of John Steinbeck’s of Mice and Men

  • Md Abu Shahid Abdullah Assistant Professor, Department of English, East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Keywords: migrant workers, alienation, exploitation, capitalist society, the marginalised

Abstract

John Steinbeck, who was deeply influenced by his own experiences with migrant workers, sets Of Mice and Men in a time dominated by capitalism and class differences. The migrant workers in the novel stand for the exploited and alienated working class in the society. The aim of the article is to show how the ideologies developed by the capitalist society are inscribed within the workers in the novel. It aims to show how the migrant workers in the novel are alienated and exploited by the capitalist mode. It also aims to prove that Steinbeck, through his characters, attempts to show four characteristics of alienation or alienated labour as mentioned by Marx: workers’ alienation from the product; alienation from the act of production; alienation from human essence through alienation from work; and, alienation from fellow workers and the resulting objectification and degradation. Last but not least, the article also aims to show how effectively Steinbeck displaces the centre by giving a voice to the marginalised and by denying it to the oppressors.

Published
2019-12-01
How to Cite
Abdullah, M. A. (2019). Exploitation and Estrangement of Migrant Workers in a Capitalist Society: A Marxist Interpretation of John Steinbeck’s of Mice and Men. Shanlax International Journal of English, 8(1), 54-57. https://doi.org/10.34293/english.v8i1.1140
Section
Articles