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Happy Endings - Essay Example

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While reading Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings”, most of the readers are supposed to skip the point that the story is ultimately a feminist meta-narrative for traditional/conventional plot of literary works or fictions, until they reach the narrator’s comment in the…
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Happy Endings
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"Happy Endings"

Download file to see previous pages attempts to summarize all the possibilities about the affair between two couples: John-Mary and Fred-Madge in a number of six differently outlined simple plots with common endings that “John and Mary die. John and Mary die. John and Mary die.” (Atwood, “Happy Endings”) Such simplistic summarization obviously provides Atwood with more legibility to comment on the portrayal of male-female relationship in Atwood’s contemporary fictions or literatures.
Atwood’s emphasis on John and Mary’s death hitches her readers down to earth and to reality obviously. It is the reality, in which John (generalization of husband) and Mary (generalization of wife) love each other; sometimes they betray each other. When women like Mary dies lovelorn, other women like Madge revels in love and vice versa. It is the very reality in which some Johns (husbands) love their wives fabulously; some other Johns seduce women for sex. Somewhere else, other Johns swindle their wives. Atwood suggests that the plots in traditional literary works are either these or those: “Thats about all that can be said for plots, which anyway are just one thing after another, a what and a what and a what.” (Atwood, “Happy Endings”) But according to Atwood, what is wrong with this “a what and a what and a what” type of plot is that it does not provide the readers with much scope to ask a question, “Why and how?” (Atwood, “Happy Endings”) Therefore Atwood’s narrator in the story “Happy Endings” ultimately comes up with the suggestion to interpret how and why the caricatured plots in her story are different though the endings are the same.
Indeed Atwood’s suggestion to “try how and why?” provides her story with extra feminist dimension. Notably in the story, Option A continues to be happy from the beginning to the end. But some characters in other options are not always happy, though they are happy at the end of the story. It is noteworthy to interpret why and how John ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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