2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

A Marxist Analysis of Steve Martin's Shopgirl
Amanda M. Buckwalter
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Reflectionism posits that the "superstructure of a society mirrors its economic base, and, by extension, that a text reflects the society that produced it." Steve Martin's novella Shopgirl depicts the Neiman Marcus Department store in Los Angeles as a symbol for modern-day socitey's obsession with conspicuous consumption and commodification, and shows Ray exploiting Mirabelle because he is financially able to and society approves of his dating a girl half his age. Mirabelle profits from Ray's attention, gains an enemey in Lisa and loses Jeremy. This paper explores the influence of money and power on the relationships between the shopgirl, the millionaire, the social climber, and the slacker in the Weltanschauung.

Keywords: Steve Martin, Shopgirl, Marxist Criticism, Reflectionism


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 28-1
Location: VH 1304
Time: 9:30

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