Oliver Twist: Hegemony and the Transgressive Imagination
“…be equated with the predominance of ‘hegemony’ over ‘coercion’ as the fundamental mode of bourgeois power in advanced capitalism.Since hegemony pertains to civil society, and civil society prevails over the State, it is the cultural ascendancy of the ruling class that essentially ensures the stability of the capitalist order.For in Gramsci’s usage here, hegemony means the ideological subordination of the working class by the bourgeoisie, which enables it to rule by consent.” Anderson, 1976a, pp 26
The aim of this writing is to explain and assess the relevance of Gramscian hegemony and its transformation toward Charles dickens’s Oliver Twist.
The focus of this analysis is the assignation protagonist character Oliver Twist, in relation with his society. This novel written in nineteenth century which manifest the era of Victorian middle class struggle; in order to gain recognition as a higher social class than the (working class) lower class. Therefore I would like to concern on middle class society in the era of Victorian in nineteenth century and also how Dickens put Oliver from one social neighborhood to another.
This analysis is more concerned with the dynamics of ideology in civil society. This novel has been analyzed many times especially using Marxist approach, however it is still worthwhile to dig deep the authenticity or see this work differently by using the same approach. Mandy Macklin (2009) consider Oliver Twist is both reject and support the class system as she used Marxism in analyze it. It is acceptable if we see it that way as the novel expose more about class system. Since this novel rejects but at the same time support the class system it is interesting to learn further in what class Oliver Twist is more dominant and which side that Dickens stand in seeing the existence of class system.
Here, I concern that the ideological hegemony plays a big role in the way Dickens depict the class system in his plotting. This writing centered on how Dickens placed Oliver; as a civilian from lower society class and end up as higher class.