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Margaret Atwoods Short Story Happy Endings

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Erica Davis’ analysis of “ Happy Endings” can be seen as accurate, especially as it pulls apart each version of a happy ending, showing how Atwood plays with different fictional plots when it comes to tales of romance and the so-called happy endings. Davis shows how each scenario has traces of the original scenario, the one in which a happy ending is all that is evident, yet they are riddled with conflict. She goes on to point out that these five other scenarios merely show filler, or the middle, of what could possibly be the first scenario.

Everyone could end up with happily ever after – and then they will die. Davis says, “ These boys and girls then slowly disintegrate until we have nothing left but the same ending, no matter how happy the story was. ” It all comes down to inevitable death. As both Atwood and Davis point out, the beginnings of these stories are always the best. Nothing has yet to be ruined and the story still has the chance to please the reader. The beginning does not set up much for the ending, so there is very little insight or foreshadow as to what the middle holds.

As Atwood is keen to make clear, though, is that the ending is what is most important: the boy dies, the girl dies. That is the end of the story. It does not matter what takes place beforehand, or what helps to build or destroy the relationship; what does matter is that all relationships come down to that one same detail, and that is all that is important. At the end of “ Happy Endings, ” Atwood discusses how writers prefer to focus more on the “ what” of a situation than on the “ why” and “ how” .

The plot consists of a chain of events that, while making up the plot, still hold very little importance when it comes down to the ending of any story. Furthermore, she explains how writers really enjoy creating all of the stuff in the middle, even though it all gets to the same place – an ending that most writers do not end up writing about death.

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preview essay on Margaret Atwoods Short Story Happy Endings
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Undergraduate
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