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

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

Thus, ***** 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 the story, to make it interesting. For example, Atwood renders A, D ***** E quickly. *****se s*****ries are full ***** love, and have no particular conflict. The result of th***** lack of conflict, as Atwood presents it, is a lack of an interesting story.

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

With C, there is more conflict, again deriving from a l*****ck of love. Mary is not in love with John and from that ***** arises. John's motivations are explored somewhat, while ********** ***** given only superficial treatment. Indeed, the *****ity of the treatment given to the hows and whys in story ***** show that without them, the story is less compell*****g. While more action happens in C than in B, it is less interesting. B was focused more on the hows ***** whys, which helped to drive ***** *****. C focused on *****, at ***** puts it l*****er the 'what', and th***** is why *****e 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 to the point ***** flippancy, but it serves to illustrate that the *****, 'what', 'what' of ***** plot is essentially irrelevant. The story might seem ***** interesting, she points out, because more things happen, but *****ly there is no ***** cause or effect. ***** relati*****ship between John and Mary contains *****, and therefore ***** no conflict. The revolutionary plotline ***** to infuse a sense of ***** into a story th*****t essentially has none. Therefore, the ***** plotline ***** window dressing, serving merely to distract the ***** ***** the fact that


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