Author (Your Name)

Susan Maxwell, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. English Dept.




In a study of working class literature from the 1930s, I would contend that the most radical work was produced primarily by female writers. For the most part, this radicalism owed to the subordination and the victimization of women in society. Since all of the writers that were studied (Tillie Olsen, Meridel Le Sueur, Fielding Burke, Agnes Smedley, Erskine Caldwell, Michael Gold, Jack Conroy, and Floyd Dell) were at least involved with, if not members of, the Communist Party, this makes a fascinating study into the power of a philosophy of government on the individual. Not only was the individual suppressed to a certain degree in the CP-USA in regards to his/her creativity, but women were particularly oppressed because they were not "allowed" to concern themselves with women's issues over the concerns for the "revolution."


Radicalism in literature, Communism and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century, Politics and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century, Working class writings, American -- History and criticism, Proletariat in literature