The artifact that I have chosen for my Neo-Marxist Analysis is 1993 the film The Addams Family Values. The film is about how after Gomez and Morticia Addams have their third child, Pubert, they hire a nanny to help take care of him. The nanny, Debbie, is actually a serial killer who marries rich men to take their inheritances. She seduces Uncle Fester and tricks Gomez and Morticia into sending Wednesday and Pugsley to a summer camp.
According to the textbook the main focus of the Neo-Marxist perspective is to, “expose how material conditions and economic practices shape dominant ideology regarding taken-for-granted assumptions about who “ought to be” and “ought not to be” empowered.” Hegemony is the privileging of a dominant group’s ideology over that of other groups. The model are the characters who act and look in a way that is deemed “normal, attractive, or desirable” by society. The anti-model are the characters that act and look “abnormal, unattractive, or undesirable”.
In this case of this film it can be considered a subverted oppositional reading, in which it rejects hegemony outright. This is shown in how while the Addams family would be considered the anti-models, they are the ones who have the power over Debbie and the other “normal” characters of the film. Every time one of the model characters attempts to put themselves over the Addams family or change how they act, the Addams come out on top each and every time. This can be seen in how Wednesday overthrows the summer camp with her brother and the other “misfits” or how Pubert winds up saving the family from Debbie after he has returned back to normal.
I believe that this movie shows that no matter how strange or different you are from society’s definition of normal, society will not hold power over you unless you let them.