I need help with paper please

Instructions: Select one prompt on which to write a paper of no more than three pages in length. Submit the essay via the link on the ‘Assignments’ page of our Blackboard site. Stories may be found on Blackboard’s ‘Course Documents’ page: Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings”; Karen Joy Fowler’s “The Elizabeth Complex”; Gabriel García Márquez’s “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”; and Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever.” Review the rubric on the ‘Assignments’ page to gain a better understanding of what is expected of this formal academic paper! Most importantly, remember that this is a class in critical theory: Be certain to explain, not simply define, and apply theoretical concepts within and throughout your paper!

4. Atwood’s “Happy Endings,” unusual as it may be in terms of short-story form, offers plenty to say about the role of the author, particularly given Atwood’s conclusion: John and Mary die. Concentrate specifically on the final several paragraphs of the story following version “F” and disclose what you believe Atwood is inferring about the author, the “death” of the author, and author function. How does Atwood’s declarations about endings, beginnings, and “the stretch in between” reveal to us the place of author in developing narrative and plot? Why is “How and Why” of more interest for her than “a what and a what and a what?”

I picked this one to do my paper on. I am not sure if you need the concepts that we been using but might need them to explain things in the paper so here they are.


Author: an individual who has created a particular text.

Author Function: a constructed social position devised as a function of discourse to which readers assign expectations. [Michel Foucault, “What Is An Author?” (1969)]

Canon: a term referring to those literary works that are “privileged,” or given special status, by a culture; these are works we often tend to think of as “classics” or as “Great Books”—texts that are repeatedly printed in anthologies of literature and tend to reflect the culture’s dominant ideology.

Death of the Author: the acceptance of writing and creator being unrelated once the text is completed, and so biography of the creator and any intentions for the text ultimately are meaningless. [Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” (1967)]

Discourse: ways of speaking that are bound by ideological, professional, cultural, political, or sociological communities—ways of thinking and talking about the world which promote specific kinds of power relations.

Fabula: the chronological ordering or sequence of events; the “raw material of the story,” which serves as the basis for syuhzet. [Viktor Shklovsy, “Art as Technique” (1917)]

Ideology: a belief system that develops out of cultural conditioning—and which may or may not be repressive or oppressive even as it is passed off as “the way it is” in the world; these interrelated ideas form a seemingly coherent view of the world.

Intentional Fallacy: concern for the author’s purpose in writing the work; to the New Critic, this way of determining the meaning and effectiveness of a work is erroneous because it is based on information outside the text. [W. K. Wimsatt & Monroe Beardsley, The Verbal Icon (1954)]

Naratemes: the structural elements of story that appear systematically and sequentially in fairy tales and quest motifs, thirty-one in total, that appear in four spheres (groupings), reinforcing Aristotle’s concept of stories having a beginning, middle and end. [Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, 1928]

Syuhzet: the plot of the narrative, or “the way the story is organized”; the finished arrangement of narrative events as presented to a reader, defamiliarizing or “making strange” the events of the narrative. [Viktor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique” (1917)]


Deferral: the inability to isolate a signifier as multiple possibilities always already exist. [Jacques Derrida, Différance (1968)]

Différance: the concept suggesting that words and signs can never fully summon forth what they intend to mean, but are always reliant upon additional words and signs from which they differ, demonstrating the instability of language. [Jacques Derrida, Différance (1968)]

Dissemination: the inability to isolate a signified, as multiple possibilities always already exist. [Jacques Derrida, Différance (1968)].

Horizon of Expectations: expectations likely on part of readers based upon understanding of genres, works, and languages; what they value and look for in a work [Robert Jauss, Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory (1967)].

Implied Reader: reader ‘created’ by the text, based upon necessary skills and qualities required for the text to have an intended effect [Wolfgang Iser, The Implied Reader (1972)]

Indeterminacies: uncertainties or ‘blanks’ within a text that must be filled in by the reader; indeterminacies exist wherever a reader perceives something to be missing between words, sentences, paragraphs, stanzas or chapters [Wolfgang Iser, “Indeterminacy and the Reader’s Response in Prose Fiction” (1971)].

Interpretive Communities: existence of multiple and diverse reading groups, each with specific reading goals and strategies, leading to the inevitability of multiple interpretations [Stanley Fish, “Interpreting the Variorum” (1976)].

Lisible (readerly text): a prescriptive text that attempts to dictate meaning to the reader, resulting in a “readable” text that brings “pleasure” while allowing the reader “consumption” of the material yet without challenging the reader as a subject. [Barthes, S/Z (1970)].

Scriptible (writerly text): an open text that allows for participation by the reader in determining meaning rather than prescriptively dictating meaning, thus allowing the reader to engage in a “writable” text that brings “bliss” (jouissance) while fracturing the subject-status of the reader. [Barthes, S/Z (1970)].

Signification: a representation or conveyance of meaning through the interaction of:

Sign: combination of signifier and signified, producing meaning;

Signifier: sound or script image used to represent a more abstract concept, the ‘signified’;

Signified: abstract idea being represented by the signifier, although meaning is recognizably arbitrary. [Ferdinand de Saussure, A Course on General Linguistics (1916)]

Subject: identity as defined by cultural and social practices; the person defined externally.

Transcendental Signified: the apparent meaning to which all signs point but to which they can never refer because of an inevitable gap between signifier and signified into which all meaning falls. [Jacques Derrida, Différance (1968)].


Archetypes: inherited ideas and patterns such as universal and recurring images and motifs that exist in the collective unconscious and which appear in literature, art, fairy tales, dreams and rituals; they emerge in individuals through dreams, visions, and creative production. [Carl Gustav Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (1928)]

Collective Unconscious: the unconscious mind derived from ancestral memory and experience, distinct from the personal unconscious, and common to all humankind. [Carl Gustav Jung, “The Structure of the Unconscious” (1916)]

Constructivist: belief in a personal and socio-cultural development of truth.

Electra Complex: the daughter’s unconscious desire for father’s attention, creating rivalry with mother for that attention, originally referred to as the “negative Oedipus complex.” [Carl Gustav Jung, Psychology of the Unconscious (1912)].

Essentialist: belief in the natural/biological certainty of truth.

Individuation: conscious realization of one’s unique psychological reality, including both strengths and limitations; it is ultimate maturation—discovery, acceptance, integration [Carl Gustav Jung, Psychological Types (1921)].

Oedipal Complex: son’s unconscious desire for mother’s attention, creating rivalry with father for that attention [Freud, “A Special Type of Choice of Object Made by Men” (1910)].

Self: the individual untouched and untainted by cultural factors and influences; intrinsic nature of person.

Self-Defense Mechanisms: behaviors protecting us from unwanted emotions such as anger, guilt, fear, and anxiety, displayed in activities such as:

  • displacement—transference of feelings on unrelated thing/person;
  • repression—deliberate withdrawal of attention from disagreeable experience;
  • projection—one’s own unconscious quality/characteristic perceived and reacted to in another;
  • regression—retreat into childish tendencies governed by id impulses [Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936)].

Subject: identity as defined by cultural and social practices; the person defined externally.

Tripartite Model: division of individual psyche into three components:

  • Id—source of conscious desires and impulses;
  • Superego—conscience or moral guide, providing discipline and restraint;
  • Ego—mediation of inner self and external world to satisfy both ego and superego [Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id (1923)]


Binary Opposition: a concept suggesting how Western culture tends to think and express thoughts in terms of contrary pairs, leading to a privileging of one over the other, e.g., rich/poor, with rich privileged of the pair. [Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (1976)]

Commodification: a perception of objects or people for their exchange or sign-exchange value, determining a value the object or person holds in status, power, and worth.”

  • Exchange Value: the value of an object or person in trade for money or other objects or persons.
  • Sign-Exchange Value: the value of an object or person for what the status or symbolic power it confers upon the owner.
  • Use Value: the physical value of an object or person for what it can do practically, functionally, or the need it can fulfill.

Culture: the sum of social patterns, traits, and products of a particular time or group of people; practices, habits, customs, beliefs and traditions that become institutions within that time and space, particular to that time and space.

False Consciousness: an ideology that appears of value but which actually serves the interests of those in power, offering the illusion of being part of the “natural order” of things, but they actually disguise and draw one’s attention from socio-economic conditions that limit, oppress, and deny the potential of the individual. [Friedrich Engels, “Letter to Mehring” (1893)].

Hegemony: the imposed, formalized system of social practices of the dominant fundamental power that seek to convince the less powerful these behaviors are for their own good. [Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks (c. 1927-35)]

Identity Politics: ideological formations that typically aim to secure the political freedom of a specific marginalized constituency within its larger context through assertion of power, reclamation of distinctive characteristics, and appropriation of signifiers that have been used to oppress or demean.

Interpellation: a process by which ideology constitutes subjected identity through institutions, discourses, and other social, cultural and familial factors:

  • situation precedes subject, ‘hailing’ the subject who is ‘always-already interpellated’
  • identities are produced by social forces rather than independent agency, constituted in Ideological State Apparatuses (schools, churches, families, and so on) and Repressive State Apparatuses (government, courts, police force, military). [Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (1971)].

Othering: perceiving/treating a person or group of people as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself.

Paired Identities: in feminist critical theory, stereotypical good/bad roles: madonna/whore, angel/bitch, virgin/slut that appear routinely in patriarchal cultural constructs, denying to women a range of humanity.

Patriarchy: a term used by feminist critics who consider Western society to be “father-ruled,” that is, dominated and generally controlled by men upholding and promoting masculine “values” that, in turn, maintain men in positions of power.

Political Economy: recognition of political institutions, the political environment, and the economic system produce and distribute media for ideological aims and commercial profit.

Semiotics: the study of signs and sign systems and the way meaning is derived and determined from them on the part of the interpreter. [Charles Sanders Peirce, “Questions Concerning Certain Capacities Claimed for Man” (1868)]

Symbol: a sign that stands for or suggests something larger or more complex, usually a tangible item that represents an abstraction.

Once someone can help me I will post the Atwood Happy Ending so you have it.

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