Literary Analysis Of Happy Endings, By Margaret Atwood

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Happy endings are everyone’s favorite. They are so perfect, yet so dull. The reader can sometimes find itself more intrigued by the difficulties that a character faces than by the happiness the character achieves. The audience wants to feel the characters, not just see them. With her unique structure and style, Margaret Atwood undermines character complexity and their actions to favor the fact that all stories end the same way and what matters is how and why they get to that point. This is the theme Margaret Atwood conveys throughout her short story “Happy Endings”. “Happy Endings” is a short story that briefly introduces two characters, John and Mary, and is followed by six different short stories of what could happen to them after they meet.…show more content…
It does not have a set exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution that most short stories are characterized with. It is setup like a multiple-choice scenario, from A to F, which allows the reader to choose their own ending, based on their preference of complexity. Since the beginning, Atwood invited the audience to “try A” (Atwood 1). Further into the passage, Atwood uses a variation of sentence structure. In some cases, there are long, extended sentences such as in plot B, where one sentence is almost 120 words. In other instances, the sentences can be very explicit and short. Atwood wrote, “Mary falls in love with John but John doesn’t fall in love with Mary” (Atwood 1). The sentence length can mean a lot. The small sentence is short because it is empty in meaning. Unrequited love is a complex concept but Atwood states it so simply and in a matter-of-fact tone. For instance, she states the fact that Mary loves John as simply as she says they eat and sleep together. By doing so, Atwood implies that love and eating dinner hold the same meaning in the overall scope of life. The way these succinct sentences are build rush the characters’ lives. Moreover, the longer sentence enumerates small actions that encompass a greater input
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