Essay - Happy Endings Margaret Atwood's Happy Endings is an Illustration of...


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Happy Endings

Margaret Atwood's Happy ***** is an illustration of the premise that the ending of a story is always the same, only the middle matters. This premise is predicated on the fact that ultimately everyone dies, conveniently ignoring ***** fact ***** a story need not be carrying through to this ultimate conclusion to have relevance.

This contrivance aside, ***** point is ***** focus the reader on the importance of understanding how ***** conclusion ***** reached and why. The six story sketches contained in Happy End*****gs illustrate vast differences between the beginnings and middles ***** six stories that end the ***** way.

Thus, the six stories present differing views of cause and effect. The underlying theme is that in the absence of love, conflict arises. That conflict is necessary to propel ***** story, to make it interesting. For example, Atwood renders A, D and E quickly. *****se ***** are full ***** love, ***** have no particular conflict. The result of this lack of conflict, as ***** presents it, is a ***** of *****n interesting s*****ry.

***** examples of B and C illustrate stories w*****h conflict. The point Atwood makes towards the end is that it is not the actions themselves that are the main point ***** interest, but the reasons for the actions. The conflict that arises ***** Mary and John in B derives from a lack of love on ***** part of John. ***** heart of the story is not ***** John does not love Mary, but ***** he does not ***** ********** s***** does love him. These questi*****s reach into the core of the two characters and ***** ***** key to insight.

With C, there is more conflict, again deriving from a l*****ck of love. Mary is not in love with John and from that ***** arises. *****'s motivations are explored somewhat, while Mary's ***** given only superficial treatment. Indeed, the superficiality of the treatment given to the hows and whys in story ***** show that without *****m, the story is less compell*****g. While more action happens in C than in B, it is less *****. ***** was *****ed more on the hows ***** whys, which helped to drive ***** *****. C focused on *****, at Atwood puts it later the 'what', and this is why the story in C fails to compel.

***** using the framework of ***** six plot sketches, Atwood further illustrates the point about cause and effect. The F sketch seems completely glossed over ***** the point of flippancy, ***** it serves to illustrate that ***** *****, 'what', 'what' ***** the plot is essentially irrelevant. The story might seem ***** interesting, she points out, because more things happen, but ultimately there is no ***** cause or effect. The relationship between John and Mary contains *****, and therefore ***** no conflict. The revolutionary *****line ***** to infuse a sense of conflict into a story that ***** has none. Therefore, the revolutionary plotline ***** window dressing, serving merely to distract the reader ***** the fact *****

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