Margaret Atwood : (1983) “Happy Endings” is six different story lines and alternate endings, with only four characters. All of the stories have different plots and motifs, they all have the same ending and that is with death, throughout the stories she is never shy to use death. Atwood uses satire through diction, she also uses flat characters, and she tricks with the different gender roles in a relationship, based on commitment, and adultery. She uses the gothic concept of inapt ability to escape death. Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Young Goodman Brown” was a story about a husband facing trial between his religion and his wife. The main character Goodman Brown is a Christian man who walks out on his Christian wife “faith”. Hawthorne was very clever in naming the characters; he uses the allegory and imagery. He takes a different gothic approach, he never uses the concept of death like Atwood does, instead he uses religion, and the concept of heaven and hell, good and bad, right and wrong. Both authors used similar techniques in getting their concept across. Atwood uses more of a gothic influence rather than Hawthorne; I will compare both stories and their similarities and differences in gothic terms.
To really understand Atwood’s message, it is important to analyze the literary devices used in each storyline. Story A introduces the first two characters, John and Mary, they are married. Their life appears to be happy and financially successful with a “charming house,” “live-in help,” and “jobs which they find stimulating and challenging” (Atwood 290). They also have “worthwhile friends,” and “stimulating and challenging sex life” and they go on “fun vacations,” and “they both have hobbies which they find stimulating and challenging” (Atwood 290). The characters are not fully developed characters. Each adjective is blank, or empty, with little information given about the characters or their life. Atwood uses sarcasm of middle class ideals in...
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