Growing Up and Growing Old: A Realist and Dystopian Perspective Comparison Essay by gnossos

Growing Up and Growing Old: A Realist and Dystopian Perspective
A comparative analysis of Alice Munro's "Axis" and Eric Puchner's "Beautiful Monsters".
# 153625 | 2,531 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Jul 28, 2013 in Literature (American) , Literature (Comparative Literature)

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The paper examines Alice Munro's "Axis" and Eric Puchner's "Beautiful Monsters" and their beliefs about aging, dying and the monotony of adulthood. The paper analyzes and compares both works' styles of writing, characters, plots and themes, and highlights how despite their differences, both ask and answer questions about aging, death and the meaning of life. The paper posits that both stories are wonderfully written and intellectually stimulating in their own unique ways.

From the Paper:

"Alice Munro is decidedly a realist, plain and simple: no nonsense about it. Her characters are described briefly and without ceremony as if each one is stripped naked and raw before the reader, freckles and all. The dialogue amongst her characters is also plain and free of embellishment. Anything unnecessary to the progression of her straight and narrow plot will not be found in her stories. Any emotions or sentiment flowing between her characters is presented as if trapped in a jar for scientific examination and clinical analysis.
"Though plain and straightforward, Munro's writing style is not boring. Something about the way she writes keeps the reader engrossed, ready to turn the page. Perhaps it is Munro's apparent penchant for condensing so much conflict in such a small space. Perhaps it is the fact that the reader is treated with a multidimensional view of the plot from the perspectives of different characters. Perhaps it is the simple, poignant, almost folksy wisdom woven throughout the brief tale of "Axis."
"Within the very first page of Alice Munro's "Axis," the reader feels the sense of seriousness in which Grace and Avie - two young farm girls and college students upon which the plot centers - carry their lives. Munro's story vaguely skips over much in the middle, but it relates the story of the lives of Avie and Royce - Grace's boyfriend in adolescence - over the span of fifty years."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Mason, Tim. "Beautiful Monsters Review." 04 April 2013. 11 May 2013.< >. W.
  • n.p. "Best American Short Stories 2012: Part III." 12 November 2012.10 May 2013. < american-short-stories-2012-part.html >. Web.
  • Rain, Intermittent. "Writing Analysis: 'Axis' by Alice Munro." 4 February 2011. 11 May 2013. < writing/writing-analysis-axis-by-alice-munro/ >. Web.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

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Growing Up and Growing Old: A Realist and Dystopian Perspective (2013, July 28) Retrieved August 23, 2017, from

MLA Format

"Growing Up and Growing Old: A Realist and Dystopian Perspective" 28 July 2013. Web. 23 August. 2017. <>