Happy Endings

Margaret’s Atwood’s presents six scenarios about lovers and their life. The major characters are John and Mary. The ideal ending is when Mary and John fall in love, get married, enjoy life together until they both die (Atwood 485). Though in the other scenarios, there are other things happening with the lovers, they finally die. The ending is always the same no matter what.

Her statement “That’s about all that can be said for plots, which anyway are just one thing after another, a what and a what and a what”, means that the final ending is always the same. The lovers got married, bought a house, loved each other, and then died. The scenarios are explaining what happened up to the happy ending.  Now try How and Why means that now arguing how and why these things happened. The lovers got married but why did they get married? How did the marriage happen? I think it means that the scenarios do not go into depth in explaining the whole life of the lovers. It just explains the obvious of the lovers falling in love, getting married and then dying.

Atwood is arguing that plots never concentrate on why and how things happened; rather they concentrate on what happened. Though, the happy ending is the same, the internal issues are not similar. Though the lovers all die at the end, they did not get married for the same reasons. Some get married out of love and others for convenience but overall they are die at the end. There is no emphasis of the stretch in between the beginnings and the ending.


Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. “Happy endings.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing (1983): 485-491. Print



 Response to Emir Bogalar

Great work Emir, though the beginnings might be different the ending is the same, the characters die. However, the explanations of what happened do not give enough details about the characters. “Why and “how” gives the reader a more depth insight.”what” just elaborates on the events but leaves out the why and how the events happened. In order for one to understand a context better, the questions of “how and why” have to be answered. Atwood is challenging us to take the extra effort of elaborating on the stretch between the beginnings and the endings instead of just concentrating on “what”.


Response to Nadine Colon

Great thinking Nadine plots just concentrate on what happened after and before. There rarely concentrate on why anything happened or how it happened which gives a story the clarity a reader is looking for. Just explaining what happens gives, the reader simple details not enough to understand the whole story. The questions of “what, why and how” must all be answered for a story to be complete. Without the ‘how and why”, there are gaps in between and it is hard for the reader to connect these gaps. The ending is all the same but the experience is different. The “why and how” elaborates on the experience.


Response to Nikita

Great view Nikita, the stories end the same way, the actors die. The ideal ending is sweet, but the stretch between the beginnings and ending is not emphasized. Though john and Mary had a ideal ending, maybe everything from falling in love through marriage to death was not ideal. There is no explanation of why they got married or why they had a nice marriage. The explanations of how these things happened and how they happened is not explained. All there is there in all scenarios is what happened from the beginnings to the end without the explanation of how and why they happened.

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