Parallels Between Metafictions

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Parallels between Metafictions Merriam-Webster?s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word metafiction as a ?fiction which refers to or takes as its subject fictional writing and its conventions.? In other words, a metafiction is a fictional story that tells another fictional story. Authors often use these types of stories to effectively express important themes they believe in. Fictional stories such as these include Margaret Atwood?s ?Happy Endings? and Grace Paley?s ?A Conversation with My Father.? Parallels between these two metafictions are shown by Atwood and Paley through similar situations within the stories, a common theme about looking past the plot of a story, and a common theme about endings.

One of the similarities between the two stories is the way that the authors describe the plot that is being told. In both these metafictions, the initial scenarios are simply descriptions of what is taking place. In Margaret Atwood?s ?Happy Endings,? ending A is just a plain list of events that has taken place. ?John and Mary fall in love and get married. They both have worthwhile and remunerative jobs which they find stimulating and challenging. They buy a charming house. Real estate values go up.? (19) The scenario continues on in a similar, uninteresting manner and concludes, ?Eventually they die. This is the end of the story.? (19) In Grace Paley?s ?A Conversation with My Father,? the narrator has been requested by her dying father to write him a simple story. She takes his words literally and gives him a plain and simple story about what happened to a woman who had a son. The son turned into a junkie at the age of fifteen, and in order to maintain her close friendship with him, the mother became a junkie too. The boy eventually gave it all up and left the city and his mother in disgust. (21) The dying father explains disgustedly to the narrator how she has practically left out everything a story is supposed to be consisted of. ?There are in fact Russian...
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