Reaction to the short story, Happy Endings

700 Words3 Pages
Reaction to the short story, “Happy Endings” Margaret Atwood presents different scenarios of relationships between men and women. As the scenarios progress they become more complicated and involve more than two parties. Even though the situations in each scenario are different, they are similar in many ways and they all inevitably end in death. The question is whether a happy ending is the outcome of an entire life well lived or how well life is at the time of death or can death itself be the happy ending? In Atwood’s scenario (A) John and Mary’s relationship is Atwood’s personification of a wonderful life together, hence giving them a happy ending? The problem is its too perfect and not real life. It’s also too boring and boring is not always happy. In scenario (B) things are much more complicated. This is a sad case of Mary loves John, John loves Madge, John uses Mary. Mary is obsessed with winning John’s affection, but never does. Mary is depressed that John never loved her and thought she might be happier dead, so she commits suicide. John not having to deal with Mary anymore, moves on an marries Madge. Could this be a happy ending? In scenario (C) things become even more complicated. John loves Mary, but is married to Madge. Mary feels sorry for John but loves James. John, depressed over the relationship between Mary and James shoots them and himself. John’s wife Madge mourns him or a while and then moves on and marries Fred. Is there a happy ending here? I think John is happy after solving his little problem of finding Mary and James in bed together. I think Mary is happy because John (the cheating husband) is out of the picture and she has found Fred. Scenario’s (D) and (E) are a continuation of (C). Madge and Fred are trying to live happily ever after, however after surviving a deadly tidal wave, Fred later dies of a
Open Document