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An Analysis of The Marxism and Marx's Theory of Alienation in Pride, a Movie by Matthew Warchus

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This essay will mostly deal with the movie “Pride”, directed by Matthew Warchus, through Marxism and Marx’s theory of alienation. The major emphasis is on the theory of alienation throughout the movie, with the somewhat introduction to Marxism. Even though Marxist theory is about the concept of capitalism in a society as the nation as a whole, and the effects that it has on the lower classes, so called “working class”, this movie is much more about alienation and how that lower class feels being alienated by how their government treatment and how they must stand up against it and stand together to overcome everything and achieve their goal. Where the LGSM group is bound together by the same cause they share, they all pretty much set a goal they want to do and they will not stop until it is completed. Off course, there are a lot of movies that have a great representation of Marxist theory of capitalism and social commercialism but this movie is a great representation of both, capitalism and the influence it has on society in creating the alienation that Marx talks about. Marx’s theory of alienation was served as the workers device of freedom, and fighting against capitalism and the wages they were given, and also the source for being more happier in the working environment, which at the time was destroyed by the capitalistic regimes.

Critical analysis of Marx’s theory of alienation in the movie “Pride”

During the UK Miners’ Strike of 1984-85, an unexpected ally showed the support for the miners. The Strike had been led by Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer), which with the support of Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) pushed the beginning by collecting money in order to help the union workers. Mark and his friends held buckets and chanted the name of their organization, outside of the bookstore “Gay is the word”, while some donated at least something others spit on them. After all those humiliated situations, Mark takes the situation in his hands, and makes his friends to continue with their organization, because the only people who were treated worse by the British newspapers, than homosexuals were the miners. “If anybody knows what this treatment feels like,” Mark says, “It’s us.”(Walters n.d.)

On a side note there are other themeswhich show up in the movie such as: One is devoted to the women-only splinter group Lesbians Against Pit Closures; growing awareness about HIV and AIDS is another thread, with Mark being confronted with an ex-lover being infected and dying, whilst he himself distancing himself from the others because he suspects he is infected as well; Joe’s growing involvement in the activist group and his coming out resulting in him leaving home and breaking ties with his parents and family; Siân becoming more aware of her own talents, and realizing with the help of Jonathan that she can be more than just a mother and housewife; hostility towards the gay community “Gay’s the Word” is targeted by vandalism several times. But the most important message of this movie is that meeting someone of a different race, gender, orientation or status is a lot more informative, honest and enriching than experiencing them from the safe sanctuary of a TV set’s depiction or favorite website’s description of them. In doing so, one can make a difference for oneself and the world at large. We are not that different from one another, and we could use all the help we can get. Or as they say in the movie “Solidarity Forever” or should I say sing it due to songs of solidarity (Billy Bragg’s mighty rendition of There Is Power in a union).

Karl Marx’s hypothesis on alienation depicts the antagonism of individuals from parts of their species-substance as a result of living in a general public of overlaid social classes. The separation from the self is an outcome of being a careless bit of a social class, the condition of which bothers a man from their mankind.For Marx, the historical backdrop of humanity had a dual viewpoint: It was a background marked by expanding control of man over nature in the meantime as it was a past filled with the expanding distance of man. Distance might be depicted as a condition in which men are overwhelmed by strengths of their own creation, which go up against them as outsider forces. The thought is vital to the greater part of Marx’s prior philosophical compositions and still advises his later work, although no longer as a philosophical issue yet as a social wonder. The Marx asks:“In what conditions do men extend their own particular powers, their own particular esteems, upon items that escape their control? What are the social reasons for this wonder?”(18Ma)

The gay network is as of now estranged from, as it’s found in a motion picture, everything even their family have relinquished them and best way to feel as they have a place some place is with find other individuals simply like them and be distanced together. Indeed, even Marx recognizes that people are social creatures. Over the span of history, to guarantee singular survival, social orders have composed themselves into bunches who have unique, essential connections to the methods for creation. Now we can notice The LGSM group as one class (the working class) and the society (the societal group) and make the difference between the two. One is always in the pits and the other one is the winning side. Now we can understand why LGSM group did what they did because not that long ago they were beaten by the cops and criticized by the press, as Mark said in the movie “Not that long ago we were on that side. They are just as us”. Nobody should be allowed to do that to other people, this is seen in a movie where a short interview with Margaret Thatcher is displayed and reporter asks her why won’t she back down on how she’s acting against miners, and she replies “I’m not in a position to be a softie, I’m in a kind of work where that is not acceptable”. This is why a character such as Mark was the backbone of this movie with his encouraging, and his leadership. Mark says that even though we have no money we have a lot of spirit and will and if we can back up our fight with money we sure as hell can, with our spirit and will. This is important because Marx says this: “In a capitalist world our means of survival is based on monetary exchange, therefore we have no other choice than to sell our labor power and consequently be bound to the demands of the capitalist. [The worker] “Does not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself”. “Labor is external to the worker”, it is not a part of their essential being. During work the worker is miserable, unhappy and drained of their energy, work “mortifies his body and ruins his mind”.

The production content, direction and form are imposed by the entrepreneur. The worker is being controlled and told what to do, since they do not own the means of production they have no say in production, “labor is external to the worker i.e., it does not belong to his essential being. A person’s mind should be free and conscious, instead it is controlled and directed by the capitalist, “the external character of labor for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his own but someone else’s, that it does not belong to him, that in it he belongs, not to himself, but to another”(18Ma). This implies he cannot uninhibitedly and precipitously make as indicated by his own mandate; work’s shape and course have a place with another person. Presently we truly do not recognize what the LGSM aggregate improves the situation living, aside from Gethin and Jonathan who run the book shop, so we can state that money related framework isn’t everything to “our survival”. The dubious use of Marx’s hypothesis of distance is in the plan of an investigation of different exercises outside the circle of work, which we attempt through decision instead of need.The more the world of work confronts us as hostile, exhausting and miserable, the more people pour their energies into their lives outside work. Maybe this is why they are trying so hard to fight against the society and help themselves as much as miners did to community. The miners are also happy with what they do, Cliff (Bill Nighy) has a wonderful speech about the mining pits and says that without them there would be no country and those pits are miners and vice versa.

Throughout the movie he shows his pride of being a miner, and this has nothing to do with a fact that Clif is also gay, as every other miner, they see it as their family heritage and they say it with pride. When they have their meetings a lot of miners from other cities have part as a whole community because they represent one group of people and it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that they represent a social class of their own. Now in alienation of the worker from other workers Marx sees it in another light: The capitalist economy’s arrangement of the relations of production provokes social conflict by pitting worker against worker, in a competition for “higher wages”, thereby alienating them from their mutual economic interests; the effect is a false consciousness, which is a form of control exercised by the capitalist bourgeoisie through its cultural hegemony. Furthermore, in the capitalist mode of production, the philosophic collusion of religion in justifying the relations of production facilitates the realization, and then worsens, the alienation (Entfremdung) of the worker from their humanity; it is a socio-economic role independent of religion being “the opiate of the masses”.

All through the movie we see people from everywhere throughout the UK and them battling for a similar reason with no distinction between themselves. People are not intrigued by religion, age, governmental issues, sex, and so on as long as you came to battle with them for the reason. This is seen toward the start of the movie where Mike hands the pennant to Joe without knowing him, disclosing to us that he came here to walk and make the wisest decision. We can also see that older people have changed their way of understanding, Gwen makes a strong relationship with “her lesbians” and promises them that she will do a lot more for herself as a woman. Many things and people have changed due to this activist group and this a fact because this movie was done based on a true story, although not all of it was pictured on the movie but its main points are there. Now as Hegel and Marx indicated that the term alienation denotes self-alienation to be estranged from one’s essential nature.

Therefore, alienation is a lack of self-worth, the absence of meaning in one’s life, consequent to being coerced to lead a life without opportunity for self-fulfillment, without the opportunity to become actualized, to become Self. Maybe this is true if you are alienated but what happens when you are joined with other people who are alienated? Joe had no self-worth until he joined LGSM; the absence of meaning in one’s life is seen in Gerthin’s way of life but that changed when went with them to Wales and was persuaded by Hefina to go and visit his mother with whom he didn’t speak for 16 years; consequent to being coerced to lead a life without opportunity for self-fulfillment this is perfect for Sian where she is also persuaded by Jonathan not to waste her beautiful mind because she has a gift and she should use it for many young people with mind just like hers die each and every day and she should not waste that gift. At the end of the movie we were shown that she did go to university and got her degree and ended up being a first woman to represent Swansea East and one of only eight woman MPs from Wales. All of the movies characters were alienated through one way or the other but they have overcome that alienation through unity and solidarity and I believe that this is most important point of this movie in itself.

Alienation can be overcome by restoring the truly human relationship to the labor process, by people working in order to meet people’s needs, working as an expression of their own human nature, not just to earn a living. “Our attempts to express the creativity of which capitalism has deprived us cannot negate the totality of alienation.”(Cox 1998)” The eradication of alienation depends on the transformation of society as a whole. However we organize our personal lives and leisure time, we cannot individually fulfill our collective ability to shape the natural world we live in. Lifestyles and leisure activities cannot liberate us from alienation, or even create little islands of freedom in an ocean of alienation. As alienation is rooted in capitalist society, only the collective struggle against that society carries the potential to eradicate alienation, to bring our vast, developing powers under our conscious control and reinstitute work as the central aspect of life. As Marx wrote in Capital, “The veil is not removed from the countenance of the social life process, the process of material production, until it becomes production by freely associated men and stands under their conscious and planned control”.


Marxism is really important for people of today, mostly because now more than ever we see how societies tend to see the working class people to make themselves richer and poor poorer. This movie has a great story on how to understand and read between the lines the secrets it pretty much hides. Movies like these pretty much teach us how capitalism works, and what working class needs to do in order to survive alienation. Alienation can be overcome by restoring the truly human relationship to the labor process, by people working in order to meet people’s needs. Working in this movie is connected with every kind of ideological view, where working is painted as an expression of the human nature, not just to earn a living. As alienation is rooted in capitalist society, the collectiveness as shown throughout the movie is the greatest picture of overcoming this issue of alienation, where the developing power under our conscious control will be the central aspect of every life.

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An Analysis of the Marxism and Marx’s Theory of Alienation in Pride, a Movie by Matthew Warchus. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from
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