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 the same, only the middle matters. This premise is predicated on ***** fact that ultimately everyone dies, conveniently ignoring the fact ***** a ***** need not be carrying through to this ultimate conclusion to have relevance.

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

Thus, the six stories present differing views of cause and effect. The underlying *****me is ***** in the absence ***** love, conflict arises. That ***** is necessary to propel ***** s*****ry, 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 th***** lack of conflict, as *****twood presents *****, is a ***** of *****n interesting story.

The examples ***** B and C illustrate stories with *****. The point Atwood makes towards the end is that it is ***** the actions themselves ***** are the main point of interest, but the reasons for the actions. ***** conflict that ar*****es between Mary ***** John in B derives from a lack of love on the part ***** John. The heart of the story is not ***** ***** does not love Mary, but why he does not and why s***** 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 l*****ck of love. Mary is not in love with John and from that conflict arises. John's motivations are explored somewhat, while Mary's are given only superficial treatment. Indeed, the ********** of the treatment given to ***** *****s and whys in story ***** show that without them, the story is less compelling. While more action happens in C than in B, it is less *****. B was focused more on the hows and whys, which helped to drive the *****. C focused on *****, at Atwood puts it later the 'what', ***** th***** is why the s*****ry in ***** 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 to ***** point ***** flippancy, ***** it serves to illustrate that the *****, 'what', 'what' of the plot is essentially irrelevant. ***** story might seem ***** interesting, she points out, because more things happen, but ********** there is no *****icular cause or effect. The relationship ***** John and Mary contains *****, ***** therefore contains no *****. ***** revolutionary *****line ***** to infuse a sense ***** conflict into a story that essentially has none. Therefore, the revolutionary plotline ***** window dressing, serving merely to distract the ***** from the fact that


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