Naseem Choudhary

Ph.D. Research Scholar

Department of English

Central University of Jammu



Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss is read as a Marxist novel in this paper. As a Marxist novel it represents the issues like class struggle, class consciousness, economic determinism, socio-economic hierarchy, communism, capitalism, materialism etc. This paper attempts to explore one among these issues i.e. economic determinism, as it plays an important role in the situations and lives of the characters. It is clear from the text that difference in social class exists in the society in different communities and it influences the psyche of the individuals both on individual and universal level. Economic inequality is the reason for oppression, discrimination and humiliation of the poor. The anxiety of economic inferiority in the lower class is reflected in the novel through the characters of the cook, his son—Biju, Gyan and the Gorkha people.  Economic determinism can be seen not as a thing, but as an open-ended process. Desai in the novel stresses on the fact that access to money and power are the major motivations for the continuous struggle in the competitive class system. The paper also explores how various characters fight in the social hierarchy—some for survival alone, some in order to obtain better living conditions, while others aim to fall into the category of bourgeois.

Key Words: Class Conflict, Economic Determinism, Economic Superstructure, Hierarchy, Inequality, Marxism

Economic Determinism:

A Materialist Reading of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss.