Marxist Criticism/Cultural Materialism: Typical questions:
? What social class or group does it benefit if the work or effort is
accepted/successful/believed, etc.?
? Which class does the work claim to represent?
? What social/cultural values does it reinforce?
? What social/cultural values does it subvert?
? What conflict can be seen between the values the work champions and those it
? What social classes do the characters represent?
? How do characters from different classes interact or conflict?

Postcolonial Criticism/Race Theory: Typical questions:
? How does the literary text, explicitly or allegorically, represent various aspects of colonial
? What does the text reveal about the problematics of post-colonial identity, including the
relationship between personal and cultural identity and such issues as double
consciousness and hybridity?
? What person(s) or groups does the work identify as “other” or stranger? How are such
persons/groups described and treated?
? What does the text reveal about the politics and/or psychology of anti-colonialist
? What does the text reveal about the operations of cultural difference – the ways in which
race, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, and customs combine to
form individual identity – in shaping our perceptions of ourselves, others, and the world in
which we live?
? How does the text respond to or comment upon the characters, themes, or assumptions
of a canonized (colonialist) work?
? How does a literary text in the Western canon reinforce or undermine colonialist ideology
through its representation of colonialization and/or its inappropriate silence about
colonized peoples?