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

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Happy Endings

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

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

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

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

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

In using the framework of ***** six plot sketches, Atwood further *****s 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 relati*****ship between John ***** Mary contains *****, and theref*****e ***** no conflict. The revolutionary *****line ***** to infuse a sense of ***** into a story that ***** has none. Therefore, the revolutionary plotline is window dressing, serving merely to distract the reader ***** the fact *****


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