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Functions of a Fiction Writer

            In "An End to Audience?", Margaret Atwood discusses the responsibilities of fiction writers. She believes that the function of a fiction writer is to examine society in ways "through which we can see ourselves and the ways in which we behave towards each other" (17). Another responsibility for an artist is to speak out the forbidden and be the voice of the powerless. These theories can be applied to the short stories of "The Stolen Party" by Liliana Hecker and "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker.
             For instance, In "The Stolen Party", Liliana Hecker depicts a typical stereotype barrier between two socio-economic groups: the rich upper class and the poor lower class. In this particular story, Rosaura is treated differently because of her social economic status. According to Atwood, fiction writers should be a "guardian of moral and ethical sense in a community" (17). In this short story, the author conveys the moral and ethical values of the two classes. Some of the children at the party are educated, mannered, and well behaved. Rosuara is a well educated child, at the top of her class. She is courteous, determined, courageous, humble and in some cases better behaved than some of the rich children and although they have the same values, they are treated differently. As a child of just 11 years old, her naivety and innocence is shattered by the harsh reality that social barriers exist. In a conversation with her mother, Herminia, Rosaura says, "Rich people go to Heaven too" (315. While Rosaura is at the birthday party having a great time with the monkey, she is disillusioned by Senora Inez" actions. "You really and truly earned this," Senora Ines said handing over two bills she rummaged from her purse. "Thank you for all your help, my pet" (320). The money that was being handed to her made her realize that she was being treated as an employee rather than a birthday guest. The inconclusiveness of this story leaves the reader to reflect or infer what is to happen next.

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