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 ***** 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 relev*****ce.

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

Thus, the six stories present differing views of cause and effect. The underlying theme is ***** 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. These ***** are full of love, ***** have no particular conflict. The result of this lack ***** conflict, as *****twood presents *****, is a lack of an interesting story.

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

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