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 ***** is predicated on ***** fact that ultimately everyone dies, conveniently ignoring the fact that 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 ***** understanding how ***** conclusion is reached and why. The six ***** sketches contained in Happy End*****gs illustrate vast differences between the beginnings and middles of ***** 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 ***** is necessary to propel the story, to make it interesting. For example, Atwood renders A, D ***** E quickly. *****se ***** are full of love, and have no particular conflict. The result of th***** lack of conflict, as *****twood presents it, is a ***** of *****n interesting s*****ry.

***** examples of B and C illustrate stories w*****h *****. The point Atwood makes towards ***** end is ***** it is ***** the actions themselves that are the main point ***** interest, but the reasons for the actions. The conflict that ar*****es between Mary and John in B derives from a lack of love on the part of John. ***** heart of the story is not that John does not love Mary, ***** *****y he does not and why she does ***** him. These questions reach *****to ***** core of the two characters and ***** 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. John's motivations are explored somewhat, while *****'s are given only superficial treatment. Indeed, the ********** ***** the treatment given 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 ***** *****. B was *****ed more on the hows ***** whys, which helped to drive the *****. C focused on *****, at Atwood puts it l*****er the 'what', and th***** is why the s*****ry in C 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 of flippancy, but it serves to illustrate that the *****, 'what', 'what' ***** ***** plot is essentially irrelevant. ***** story might seem more interesting, she points out, because more things happen, ***** ultimately there is no *****icular cause or effect. The relati*****ship between John and Mary contains *****, and theref*****e ***** no conflict. The revolutionary plotline serves to infuse a sense of ***** into a story th*****t essentially has none. Therefore, the ***** plotline is window dressing, serving merely to d*****tract the reader ***** the fact that


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