n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - The top, the bottom and the middle : space, class and gender in Metropolis : research article

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279



My article explores the images and metaphors relating to space in Fritz Lang's 1926 film, (remade in 1984 by Georgio Moroder). Using a primarily Marxist interpretive framework, I analyse the spatial layout of the filmic city of Metropolis, divided into three levels, one above ground and two underground, as metonymic of the class divisions in the urban society that are represented in the film. The article also examines the architecture of Metropolis as representing social values and conflicts. It then proceeds to investigate the film's gender dynamics as revealed in the two figures of the robot Maria and the real Maria, and concludes that the film's gender and class ideology is remarkably conservative.

My artikel ontleed die beelde en metafore van die leefruimtes in Fritz Lang se 1926-film, (weer verfilm in 1984 deur Georgio Moroder). Binne 'n hoofsaaklik Marxistiese interpretasieraamwerk ontleed ek die ruimtelike uitleg van die filmstad Metropolis, wat onderverdeel is in drie vlakke, een bokant die grond en twee ondergronds, en vertolk dit as metonimies van die klasverdeling in die stedelike samelewing wat in die film uitgebeeld word. Die artikel ontleed ook die argitektuur van Metropolis as verteenwoordigend van sosiale waardes en konflikte. Vervolgens ontleed ek die film se genderdinamika soos dit uitgebeeld word in die twee figure van die robot-Maria en die werklike Maria, en kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat die film se gender- en klasideologie verbasend konserwatief is.

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