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How Literary Criticism Met Your Mother Writing Assignment

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How Literary Criticism Met Your Mother Writing Assignment
From the pilot episode of an American comedy TV show called How I Met Your Mother, I find that both Marxist criticism and Feminist criticism exist in this episode due to the roles of the characters, the ways they act and speak, the things they own, etc. In terms of the Marxism, it is easy to find out that there is a relationship between class and power in this episode. As Barney who always wears a suit while his friends are all wearing casual clothes, he seems to be the one that represents the upper class and the rest of the characters might be the lower class because they do not own as much capital as Barney does, and this shows that the lower class is suffering the low level of luxury while the upper class has a high-quality life. However, they and Barney are still friends who often hang out together which refers to the Communalism because the different classes live together and share possessions and responsibilities. In addition, the suit symbolizes power and wealth as well. Since Barney’s pet phrase is “Suit up”(HIMYM), despite the fact that he really wants Ted to wear a suit, the further reason probably is that he thinks suits represent power and wealth and this indicates the Commodification, one of the key terms of Marxism which means attitudes of valuing things not for their utility but for their power to impress others.

For another, when Barney sees Carl have a Lebanese girl-friend, he says,” How he gets a Lebanese girl? The guy doesn’t even wear a suit”(HIMYM). From this, it is not difficult to find how Barney despises the man who does not wear a suit, and this is considered as a reflection of how upper class despises the lower class, and this also refers to the key term of Marxism of Reflectionism. Concerning about the Feminism, the civilization in this episode can be considered as pervasively patriarchal which male characters are in the dominant position. For instance, Ted is an engineer, Marshall is a law student and Barney is a rich man while Lily is a teacher in kindergarten and Robin is a reporter who reports silly news. From their occupations we can easily find out that the role of female is to care others and to do something insignificant, but the role of male is portrayed as being powerful, intelligent and wealthy. On the other hand, the female characters in this episode are not typical women who often appears on the screen. For example, during Robin’s first date with
Ted, they are making fun of the blue trumpet on the restaurant wall and Ted suddenly says something silly, “It looks like a smurf penis”(HIMYM). However, Robin is not embarrassed by that and even seems to be pleasant after she hears that joke. Therefore, this shows the key term of Feminism of Jouissance because Robin is not a stereotype of women who hides her feminine pleasure. To conclude, Marxist criticism as well as Feminist criticism can be seen apparently in the pilot episode of How I Met Your Mother.

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