Consider some of the short stories that we have read so far this term. For Atwood, the plot becomes the vehicle for the author to shows us a new truth. At the same time, she challenges other writers to more closely examine typical literary convention.
Even in the more troublesome aspects of these stories, the couples manifest their middle-class values. This mid-life angst drives him to attempt to boost his self-esteem through an affair with a much-younger woman. Despite the middle-class values that permeate the piece, only in version F does Atwood frankly address them.
In version A, John and Mary build a life based on their nice home, rewarding jobs, beloved children, enjoyable vacations, and post-retirement hobbies. They experience one success after another. No problems or difficulties—major let alone minor— are mentioned; as such, their life is completely unreal. Such unreality is emphasized by the events of version B. While John and Mary do not achieve this happy ending, John does achieve it—but with Madge. And in yet another version, Madge achieves this happy ending with Fred.
Although all the individuals bring to their relationships a unique past and set of experiences, each couple eventually achieves the exact same ending described in version A. Margaret Atwood uses her short story Happy Endings to show that it is not the end of a story that is important it is the middle.
Sure in some cases people can guess the middle of a story from the ending, if they find someone died in an electric chair they can assume he committed a crime.
Atwood also says that what happens is not all-important but how it happens and why it happens. According to Atwood, all the whats are just the plot, one thing that happens after another, however the how and the whys are what really make a story more than a story. This is the important part, the hows and the whys are what makes a story literature with out them it makes no difference if the prose is expertly laid out or not it is all still a story nothing more.
The use of story like this to portray the differences in opinion on what makes a story is pure genius on the part of Atwood, what is even more interesting is the fact that it is also considered literature.
The main theme in most literature that divides it from the rest of the stories is that literature tries to make a specific point, and in doing so forces the reader to think about the point that the author is trying to make.
It was first published in a Canadian collection, Murder in the Dark. It includes six stories in one, each ending with death. The author believes that this is the only sure ending to anything.
The stories are all inter-related, containing the same characters and similar actions. Behind the obvious meaning of these seemingly pointless stories lies multiple deeper and more profound meanings; exploring, for example, themes of domesticity, welfare, and success.
It all ends up with John and Mary dying at the end of the story. John — He is one of the main characters of the short story. In A, he is in love with Mary and is happily married to her. He eventually takes a woman named Madge to a restaurant.
In the end, he marries her. In C, he is a middle-aged man married to Madge but is in love with twenty-two year old Mary. One day he sees Mary with another man and shoots both of them before shooting himself. Mary — She is the main character of the short story.
In A, she is happily married to John and had children with him. In C, she is a twenty-two-year old who is in love with James. She is shot by John. James — He is a twenty-two year old whom Mary has feelings for. One day, he and Mary have sex. He is shot by John towards the end.
She is taken to a restaurant and eventually, they get married. In D, she meets a man named Fred. Fred — He is the man Madge meets. Since A must be the happy ending, it implies that there are other, more sinister endings yet to be discovered. In each of her scenarios, she creates two main characters, John and Mary appropriately boring names for characters that are so underdeveloped and stereotyped as to be almost comedic.
It would be possible to call them each protagonists, but they are the very definition of flat characters: In fact, the reader is informed of their personality traits not because Atwood shows them through a conflict or a plot rather, she simply tells them. In fact, after presenting all of her mock scenarios for the characters, Atwood abruptly changes tone to tell the reader an important fact: Order a custom essay on Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood written by an expert online.
Beginnings are always more fun. With her unconventional structure, caricatures for characters, and sometimes sarcastic tone, Atwood manages to convey one of the most important concepts about life of all.
Happy Endings Margaret Atwood. Similarly, Atwood has chosen to write criticism on numerous contemporary female American and Canadian feminist authors; this is an indication of her interest in the content area. Atwood has stated that these characters suffer because they mimic the experiences of women in reality.
Just as Atwood does not identify herself as a feminist writer, neither does she consider herself a science-fiction writer. A majority of her fiction is set in the present day, with details that allude to North America. For this reason, she has been associated with realism: The work won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in for the best science-fiction novel published in the United Kingdom.
Additionally, a sprinkling of her short stories and poems, as well as her later novel The Blind Assassin , illustrates a concern with the future and the fantastic. Atwood herself refuses to classify her own writing as science fiction because her work does not contain technological hardware.
She deems futuristic gadgetry fundamental to science fiction, so she prefers the term speculative fiction in regard to her own writing. As a writer of poetry, Atwood states that she has a distinct personality from that of a writer of prose. She views poetry as a lens through which one condenses and reflects. In her poetry, she often blurs the line between the real and the unreal. She accomplishes this to the degree that what the reader would view as reality becomes illusion and the unseen becomes more tangible and true.
Her novels and short stories are poetic in style, and her poems maintain a strong narrative strain. Stylistically, Atwood chooses to incorporate irony, symbolism, self-conscious narrators, allegory, and bold imagery into her poetry and fiction in order to explore complex relationships between humans and the natural world, discomforting human characteristics, and power struggles between genders and political groups.
Although her voice has been criticized as being overly formal and emotionally detached, she has been compared to writers such as George Orwell. A young woman who is made mentally unstable by her oppressive social surroundings finds stability by shedding what those around her have deemed sanity. Surfacing has been applauded for its characterizations, style, and themes.
Thematically, the novel is about victimization and attempts to avoid victimization. The heroine of the novel battles the forces that suppress her, and at the end of the novel she gains confidence and a sense of freedom. Surfacing begins with the nameless heroine and her lover Joe traveling away from the city. The men hope to take some photographs for a book they are creating together. Although the father, a botanist, is not found, they decide to remain at the lake.
The flaws and ugliness in each character surface while they are at the lake. Relationships between David and Anna and between the heroine and Joe begin to unravel. Problems in the marriage of David and Anna become apparent, while Joe becomes discontented with his lover because she seems to be obsessed with her search for clues in the cabin.
The heroine believes that her parents have left her these clues in her childhood home. Toward the end of the novel, the heroine runs from all of her companions; the wild island seems to have taken hold of her. Although this journey may seem like a nervous breakdown, it is a time for her to make peace with her past and her identity.
She reconnects with her parents and with the spirits of indigenous people. She has saved herself by embracing the voice of nature that demands that she avoid all human constructs. Symbolically, the antagonist forces that destroy nature throughout the novel also represent the United States. The theme of anti-Americanism is present throughout the work; for example, American tourists overrun the previously unspoiled landscape.
Mar 10, · An essay last Sunday about Margaret Atwood’s Novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” misspelled the surname of the Canadian general who was the commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for.
Essays and criticism on Margaret Atwood - Critical Essays.
Margaret Atwood Her father, Carl Edmund Atwood, was a zoologist who engaged in entomological research during most of Atwood's childhood. Her mother, Margaret Dorothy Killiam, was a former dietician and nutritionist. Free Essay: An Analysis of Margaret Atwood Winner of the ‘Governor General’ award and the ‘Book Prize’ is author and poet Margaret Atwood. Margaret Atwood is.
Happy Endings Margaret Atwood Analysis This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood. Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings” first appeared in the Canadian collection, Murder in the Dark, and it was published in for American audiences in Good Bones and Simple Murders. Free Margaret Atwood Surfacing papers, essays, and research papers.