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 ***** 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 ***** need not be carrying through to this ultimate conclusion ***** have relev*****ce.

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

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

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

With C, there ***** more conflict, again deriving from a lack of love. Mary is ***** in love with John and from that conflict arises. John's motivations are explored somewhat, while *****'s ***** given only superficial treatment. Indeed, the superficiality ***** the treatment given to the *****s and whys in story ***** show that without them, the story is less compell*****g. While more action happens in C than ***** B, it is less *****. ***** was *****ed more on the hows and whys, which helped to drive ***** *****. C focused on *****, at Atwood puts it l*****er the 'what', ***** th***** is why *****e s*****ry in ***** fails to compel.

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

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