Atwood sets out to present different life scenarios in her story ‘Happy Endings’. She narrates how some individuals choose to live their lives. She is keen to make the reader realize that all humans end up with death. For most people, her story touches upon the ultimate destination that is death…
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However, one may find more insights from the scenarios presented. There is a deeper message that Atwood sought to tell the world. She seems to be telling everyone in the society to make wise choices about living life because that determines the ending they are to face. She becomes more specific with choices that concern the search for love in the modern times. This essay will explore the message she passes in each scenario presented.
Towards the end, Atwood mentions that the stretch between ‘beginnings’ and the ‘endings’ is the most important part of one’s life. This stretch determines the ending. Although she makes it clear that death is the ‘authentic end’, a fact that everyone knows, she concentrates more on elaborating how John, Mary, Fred and Madge lived the stretch. It is worth noting that she described the choices the people made and the reasons behind them. Atwood seems to be reckoning people to make a happy end by living the ‘stretch in between’ well.
In the first scenario, she presents two individuals who fall in love and choose to commit to their marriage and family life (Pope 352). They have careers but they manage to balance them well with family. When they die, they have no regrets. However, their life does not fall into place on its own. The two individuals choose to live up to their commitments. From the natural experience of life, it is obvious that a happy marriage and a stable income do not come without effort. For them, they made the right choices and even though they died, their lives were fulfilling. Atwood presents this as an option that one can choose and indicates that those making such commitments find contentment.
In scenario B, the two individuals are in a relationship for different purposes. John lives selfishly and does not care about the feelings of Mary. He considers her as only a tool to satisfy his desires. In life, there are people who choose to take advantage of others. Mary in this situation had every reason to stand up for her dignity and walk out on him. On the contrary, she made even more wrong choices. She offered herself up for him sexually without finding fulfillment. She ignored the advice of her friends and even chose to give up her life expecting a selfish man to save her. Mary’s life has a bad ending because of her choices. The quest for love can confuse an individual at times but Atwood is giving the society a warning. One should strive to make realistic and rational choices and not let others drive him/her to his/her destiny. This is the reason why Atwood gives the reader an opportunity to create the story in his or her own way in the end (352). Atwood brings out the consequences that an individual is prone to if he or she decides to lead a life of double standards (353). Both John and Mary are betraying their partners and they end up hurting their partners in scenario c. John struggles to feel young while in essence, he is old. Instead of accepting that the days of his youth are in the past and concentrate on building his family, he indulges in an affair that leads him to tragedy. Atwood is warning the society against such behavior. In scenario D, Atwood brings out factor that can make relationships work. A couple needs to understand each other and stand by each other in all times. Fred and Madge focus on building their relationship and take time to solve their problems rationally (354). However, she warns that unforeseeable events may arise along the way such as disease and natural disasters. These are challenges beyond one’s control yet they form part of life’s reality. Atwood is telling the reader to realize that he or she should do his or her best in leading a
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“Analysis of Happy Endings Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1457433-analysis-of-happy-endings.
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