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 the fact ***** a story need not be carrying through to this ultimate conclusion to have relevance.

This contrivance aside, ***** point is to focus ***** reader on the importance of understanding how the conclusion ***** reached and why. The six ***** sketches contained in Happy Endings illustrate vast differences between the beginnings and middles ***** ***** 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 the story, to make it interesting. For example, Atwood renders A, D ***** E quickly. These stories are full ***** love, and have no particular conflict. The result of this lack ***** conflict, as *****twood presents *****, is a ***** of an interesting story.

***** examples of B and C illustrate ***** with *****. The point Atwood makes towards ***** end is ***** it is ***** the actions themselves that 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 of ***** on the part of John. ***** heart of the story is not that John does not love Mary, ***** why he ***** not and why she does ***** him. These questi*****s reach into ***** core of the two characters and are the key to insight.

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

In using the framework of ***** six plot *****, Atwood further illustrates the point about cause and effect. The F sketch seems completely glossed over ***** ***** point ***** flippancy, but it serves to illustrate that the *****, 'what', 'what' of 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 ***** John and Mary contains love, ***** theref*****e ***** no conflict. The revolutionary plotline serves to infuse a sense ***** ***** into a story that ***** has none. Therefore, the revolutionary plotline is window dressing, serving merely to d*****tract the reader ***** the fact that


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