Pierre Macherey's theory of literary production applied to William Faulkner's three Snopes novels: "The Hamlet", "The Town", and "The Mansion"

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

John Paul Russo, Committee Chair


Pierre Macherey has developed a Marxist theory of literary production which has generally not been applied to twentieth-century texts. Macherey holds that an author's ideology is one of the constituent elements of any text, and that it is possible for an informed reader to isolate and to identify these ideology statements within a text. He identifies literary language as either faulty, fictive, or disparate discourse. A close examination of Faulkner's rhetorical strategies in his three Snopes novels, The Hamlet (1940), The Town (1957), and The Mansion (1959), reveals evidence of the three discourses that Macherey defines. Macherey defines literary production as a process that places ideological content in opposition to material reality. One may construct a Marxist interpretation of the Snopes trilogy by closely examining the ellipses in the text, the faults which lie in the literary language, and that which is left unsaid.


Literature, American

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