Analysis of Gossip Girl Through the Lens of Marxist and Feminist Theory

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This paper will be analyzing the television show, Gossip Girl through the lens of Marxist and feminist theory. The show rotates around the lives of adolescents who live in New York City. Most of these young boys and girls live luxurious lives; identified with the Upper East Manhattan. Many of them are just average kids who hail from Brooklyn, but because they are trying to fit the life style of their peer, they are forced to live unrealistic life. There is unidentified person in the show named “Gossip Girl” who posts fascinating gossips about all the actors and send out to people. This analysis will specifically analyze the episode entitled “Dare Devil”. In this episode Dan is doing everything possible to impress Serana on their first date. He hired a private car, took Serena to expensive hotel thinking the she would be impressed by all these. In the meantime, Jenny is trying to please Blair during Blair’s yearly sleepover.


Feminism explores different ways in which women and men are viewed in the society. () dissents to the popular belief that feminism is anti-male, but he posits that feminism is for everyone. It advocates for discrimination based the sex of an individual. Marxist, on the other hand, advocates for keeping economic power as the primary motive behind all political and social activities, such as religion, arts, media and government and many more. Furthermore, Marxism is also apprehensive of the class system and socioeconomic power in the society. There is a clear distinction between socioeconomic classes in the lens of Marxism. The theory also presents a clear ideologies in in regards to family. Because of what are going on in the show, feminism and Marxism are the best theories which can be used to explain the events of the show.


One of the problems advanced in the show is the issue of social class. Jenny wants to fit in the upper class when in the real sense she is not fit for that class. Jenny is ready to do anything even the impossibility just to impress Blair. The show director contend that “Gossip Girl features a matriarchy, ruled by leads Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, where the central teen characters model a changing mix of fashion, authority, and self-exploration, though within the imaginary life of private-school privilege” (Van Damme 116). In the episode, Jenny goes to Blair’s sleepover and she does everything that Blair tells her to do so the she can fit the class of Blair. For instance, we can see Jenny dressed in a tight clothes with excess make up since Blair tells her that this is what they all do. Marxism terms this ideology as a fight for power and a social class in the society. Blair wants to uphold his powers in the society, while Jenny wants to fit in the upper social class because she is not comfortable with her position in the society. On the other hand, “Gossip Girl” show can be understood in the lens of feminist theory. Feminist advocates for equality between men and women in the society. Generally, women are portrayed to be inferior that is why Jenny is trying through all means to be equal to men.

The show is appealing for those who doubt their identity; those who do not understand where they are coming from and where they are going to. In the “Gossip Girl” clothes and money are portrayed to be some of the valuable things in life that can bring equality in the society. We can see that people like Jenny cannot be happy and satisfied because they lack certain things that other people have in the society and this drives them to do anything possible so that they can be accepted in the upper class.

A notion held be all the characters in this show is classism. There are two major classes presented in this show: the upper class and the lower class. However, financial status is primarily what makes one fits in any of the classes. Meanwhile, Jenny is from a lower class but she is exposed to belong to the upper class because of the life style that she tries to live. Just like individuals from the lower class in the society struggle to live the lives of the rich; however, the rich are often unreceptive, Jenny struggles to join the upper class, but Blair won’t allow her in their circle. Jenny has struggled to the point that she has become to believe that she fits the class, but she knows little that she is excluded from the plan. In all the things that she does to Blair, the best thing that Blair can do to her in return is to give her small gifts.


In conclusion, gender roles and social structure play and integral role in the workings of Gossip Girl. The fight to bridge the social gap is what Jenny tries all though but she cannot attain it because she comes from lower socio- economic background. Even after trying to please Blair for so long, the best reward she gets out of it is trouble with the police. Blair ensures that she always remain takes her position in the society.

Works Cited

Stein, L. (2009). Playing Dress-Up: Digital Fashion and Gamic Extensions of Televisual Experience in Gossip Girl's Second Life. Cinema Journal, 48(3), 116-122.

Van Damme, E. Gender and sexual scripts in popular US teen series: A study on the gendered discourses in One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl. Catalan journal of communication & cultural studies, 2012, 77-92.

Tyson, L Critical Theory Today a User-Friendly Guide, Second Edition. (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Routledge. 2006

November 24, 2023
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