1. Define the following terms below, and link them to a literary lens.

a) Bourgeoise [1 Mark]

The middle class in society, especially those connected to the ownership or control of capital and means of production, is referred to as the “bourgeoisie”. The bourgeoisie can be associated with a Marxist literary perspective in literary contexts because it frequently addresses issues of class conflict, inequality, and middle-class representation in works of literature, examining how their attitudes and actions impact the stories of different pieces.

b) Interpretive Communities [1 Mark]

Groups of readers or academics who use similar interpretative techniques, methods, and viewpoints to evaluate and comprehend literary texts are known as interpretive communities. These communities are associated with reader-response literary theory because they emphasise the reader’s involvement in deriving meaning from literature by focusing on how readers’ experiences, backgrounds, and cultural contexts affect how they understand a book.

c) Form [1 Mark]

The structure and arrangement of a literary work, encompassing components like genre, style, narrative framework, rhyme scheme, and more, is referred to as “form” in literature. A formalist literary lens, which stresses a text’s intrinsic features and organisation, can be used to analyse form. Formalist analysis examines how a text’s structure affects its meaning and impact, frequently placing more emphasis on a work of literature’s aesthetic qualities and structure than on outside elements like the author’s intention or the historical setting.

2. Carl Jung coined the term collective unconscious, what does this term mean? [2 marks]

The term “collective unconscious” was first used by psychologist Carl Jung to refer to the aspect of the unconscious mind that is common to all people and is made up of symbols, memories, and experiences that have been passed down from our ancestors. It is not the same as a person’s particular unconscious, which is made up of specific experiences. Archetypes are believed to be natural, universal symbols and motifs that permeate human cognition, behaviour, and society. They are believed to reside in the collective unconscious. These universal archetypes—such as the mother, the shadow, and the hero—cut across all societal and historical divides. Jung believed that by researching about and incorporating the contents of the collective unconscious, people could better understand their own psychology as well as gain deeper knowledge about human nature and the shared experiences that connect us together as a species.

3. Which literary theory or lens allows the reader to analyze literature with objectivity? Why is this the case? [3 marks]

Reader-Response theory allows readers to analyze literature with objectivity. This method stresses how a reader interprets a text in their own way, taking into account their own experiences and points of view. It seeks to uncover recurring themes and feelings by considering different readers’ reactions, promoting a more impartial comprehension of a work’s influence on a wide range of audiences. This objectivity results from the understanding that there is no one right interpretation, encouraging a comprehensive understanding of a text’s meaning that goes beyond the prejudice of any one reader.

4. When we say that gender is socially constructed, what does this mean? [2 marks]

The concept that gender is socially created denotes the absence of intrinsic or biological determination in the roles, behaviours, expectations, and conventions that come with being male or female. Rather, the idea behind the concept of gender is a product of social structure that is affected by history, culture and society. This opinion focuses on how gender identity and expression are socially built and is flexible, accepting that being a man or a woman can change substantially according to specific culture and historical importance.

PART B: Short Answer Questions

[18 Thinking & Inquiry Marks]

Answer the following questions below in full sentence. You want to ensure that you are providing quotes and references to any short story in the unit to support your answer if necessary.

1. Pick only 2 of the different archetypes below, and explain how they are shown in the story The Dragon. [4 Marks]

The ScapegoatThe Temptress
The OutcastCircle Images

The chosen archetypes are- The Scapegoat and The Outcast. In Ray Bradbury’s short story “Dragon,” the two men who go out onto the lonely moor to face the dragon serve as subtle representations of the Scapegoat and the Outcast. These men are banished from their town and are being offered as sacrifices to the dragon to keep the villagers safe. Their lives are seen as less precious than those that are safe within the town, and they are therefore regarded as disposable. To confront the dragon’s wrath, the townspeople have set them up as scapegoats, a metaphor for how society might abandon certain people to carry the weight of its anxieties and perils. The two men’s loneliness and the terror they feel on the haunting, ancient moor emphasise their status as misfits in a cruel, merciless world.

2. Using the Jungian theory of archetypes, what could the dragon in the short story The Dragon symbolize? [3 Marks]

The dragon in Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Dragon” might be seen as an archetype that stands for the personification of chaos, dread, and the unknown. It stands for the most fundamental anxieties and difficulties that the characters and the setting are confronted with, symbolising a primordial and destructive force. The dragon is a timeless and global representation of the struggle of the human psyche to face its anxieties, both internal and external.

3. Outline the ways in which the division between the bourgeoise and the proletariat is depicted in The Diamond Necklace. [4 Marks]

The stark contrast in the goals and lifestyles of Mathilde Loisel and her husband, the protagonists of Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Diamond Necklace,” illustrates the gap between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. While Mathilde’s husband, who represents the proletariat and is happy with their modest life, aspires to be a member of the bourgeoisie and longs for luxury and social position. Because Mathilde’s yearning for a diamond necklace causes them to lose everything financially, the short story emphasises social and economic inequities and the consequences of wanting more than one’s class.

4. In the short story Man Descending how do the women exercise their power? What impact does this have on how they are perceived in the story? [3 Marks]

In Guy Vanderhaeghe’s “Man Descending,” the women use deceptive and covert tactics to assert their authority. They frequently use emotional blackmail and situational control over the male characters. Despite their restricted social roles, they seem like powerful, important people, which contributes to their enormous effect. This presents them as savvy and crafty, challenging the conventional gender roles. The women in the story become more complicated and captivating due to the disruption of traditional gender norms and the addition of depth provided by their power.

5. After reading the short story A Matter of Balance, what was your initial reacting the story, and why do you believe that you had this reaction? Do you believe that all readers would have a similar reaction to you? Why or why not? [4 marks]

At first, I felt a sense of pity and compassion for Carl, the main character, as he tries to balance between his responsibilities as a hunter and his desire to keep the wolves safe. I felt emotional because the way this story explores the universal moral of the story’s exploration of the universal moral challenges that arise because of impact of humanity on natural world. Responses of other readers might be different on the basis of their personal viewpoints, values and experiences; as a result, some readers might not be able to connect with the protagonist’s difficulties.

Part C: Response Essay

[15 Application Marks]

Read the new short story attached, Grimms Cinderella and write an analysis paper of the story in your choice of literary theory that we have read in the unit, making connections between the theory and the new story. As will all the answers in the test, you want to refer back to the story as much as possible, including specific examples.

Your essay response should include:

  • Introduction – with a thesis statement
  • Body
  • Conclusion

[400-600 words]

An Analysis of Grimms Cinderella through a Feminist Literary Lens


Written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Grimms’ Cinderella is a beloved fairy tale that has won over hearts over and over. A feminist literary theory analysis of the story exposes a complicated network of societal expectations and gender dynamics. This essay will examine how the Grimms’ Cinderella both reflects and subverts patriarchal conventions, portraying Cinderella as a figure who overcomes social restraints and eventually regains her agency.


Feminine Oppression and Escape- The protagonist of Grimm’s Cinderella is initially shown as a young woman who is oppressed and subservient, tormented by her stepsisters and stepmother. The social systems that stifle and muzzle women are represented by these antagonistic female roles. Cinderella’s stepmother, for instance, enforces a traditional role for women by refusing her the chance to attend the royal ball. This reflects the viewpoint of feminist theory regarding the subjugation of women in a society ruled by males.

Transformation as Liberation- The turning of Cinderella into a different person with the help of her fairy godmother marks a significant turning point in the story. She goes from poverty to wealth and is provided with the tools to stand up for herself. She can ignore her stepmother’s rules and go to the ball, where she wins the prince over with her refined appearance and newfound beauty. This transformation is evocative of feminist concepts of female liberty and personal empowerment as they overcome social restraints.

Role of Female Bonds- The significance of female solidarity is often emphasised in feminist thought. Cinderella and her fairy godmother bond in Grimm’s Cinderella. Although not overtly feminist, this relationship can be interpreted as a manifestation of female guidance and support. Cinderella is given the authority to take charge of her own fate by her strong female fairy godmother.

Reclaiming Agency- Cinderella’s decision to leave from the prince’s ball at midnight highlights her agency. In the story, she claims her independence by refusing to make her relationship with the prince serve as her only identity. The way she regained her power and freedom is consistent with feminist ideas of self-determination, which support women in pursuing their own goals and aspirations.

Exposing the Step-Sisters- The story also serves to expose the step-sisters’ negative qualities. Cinderella’s kindness and beauty in comparison to their physical and spiritual ugliness, challenging traditional beauty standards that often oppress women. Feminist criticisms of the demands society places on women’s appearances are consistent with this attack on superficiality.


Feminist literary analysis of Grimms’ Cinderella demonstrates the complexity of the female characters and the social conventions they struggle with. The inspiring tale of Cinderella’s journey from oppression to liberation speaks to feminist ideals of individual agency, empowerment, and rejection of restrictive gender norms. The narrative challenges readers to reconsider the standards that society has set for women and to value female friendships and personal growth. In the end, Cinderella proves to be a representation of strength and resilience in the face of patriarchal restrictions.