Happy Ending by Margaret Atwood Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
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Category: Literature

Type of paper: Essay

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In this essay, I examine the short story, Happy Endings, by Margaret Atwood and how the Canadian author tackled the topic of love and the different ways it is portrayed in relationships and marriage, as well as examined writing styles as used in the story. For my conclusion, I will elaborate on the importance of love and romance in making marriages last as well as emphasize on the cruciality of coming up with an original and authentic literary work.

In this story, Atwood focused on both the mechanics of writing and the effects of gender stereotyping, as well as challenged writers who rely on the stereotypical characterization of men and women and to the reader who accepts such gender typing. At the same time, she challenged other writers to more closely examine typical literary convention. Happy Endings has six story versions that present a different scenario of what Through analysis of Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood happens to the main characters, John, Mary, Madge and Fred. Three main themes surface from this story.

These themes are that the story depicts middle-class values; portrays marriage and romance; and illustrates writing conventions. Touching on middle-class values, Atwood represents these values in her story as an element of the society. In doing so, the characters in the story manifest them even in the more troublesome aspects of the stories. In tackling marriage and romance, the story revolves around the fulfillment that marriage brings. Using material success and ease of life as the criteria to define a successful marriage, John and Mary certainly have built one. Romance, on the other hand, also emerges as an important theme.

The various versions of the story mimic the trajectory of cliched romance novels, which end with the hero and the heroine living happily ever after. Atwood also parodies some typical plots of romantic novels, which include murder, suicide, infidelity, and disease. Lastly, Atwood also dealt with writing conventions in the story by way of experimentation. Atwoods text in the story is self-referential as she explicitly refers to events that have happened earlier on, as well as the mechanics and elements of writing. Both directly and indirectly, Atwood addresses the whole notion of how an author develops a story.

In addition, Atwoods work also challenges writers to compose authentic works. From the above information and opinions, I conclude that for a more different and effective way of writing, authenticity is important for writers to value. I also conclude that love in marriage or any kind of relationship needs romance to be its companion in order for these relationships to last as romance is the oil that keeps friction from wearing out the relationship.


BookRags and Thomson Gale. (2006). Happy endings study guide. Retrieved February 28, 2008, from http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-happyendings/

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