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"Happy Endings" Essay

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Assignment #1 – Short Stories Essay
In the short story “Happy Endings” there were quite a few unexpected elements. At the beginning of the story, John & Mary meet. There are five different stories with five very different endings.

In “Happy Ending A”, John and Mary actually have a happy ending. After the two meet, they fall in love, get married, have a wonderful life together and then die. I was not expecting the not so happy endings for the remainder of the story. In “Happy Ending B”, Mary falls in love with John but the love is not returned. It was quite a shock to read that he uses her for dinner and sex twice a week. “He merely uses her body for selfish pleasure and ego gratification of all tepid kind.” (291) Mary doesn’t even enjoy the sex, which was another surprise to me. Why would a woman put herself through that? Mary is hoping that John will get used to her and depend on her and they will get married. Mary’s friends eventually see John out a restaurant with another woman named Madge. “It’s not even Madge that finally gets to Mary; it’s the restaurant. John has never taken Mary to a restaurant.” (291) The next part of the story was another shock, Mary decides to take pills and leave a note for John in hopes that he’d discover her and they’d get married. I honestly would have thought that Mary would have gone about her life after she found out John was at a restaurant with another woman, especially since she wasn’t happy. Moral of the story is: John never finds her; Mary dies and he marries Madge. In “Happy Endings C”, John is an older man who loves Mary, but she is only 22 and feels sorry for him. “She sleeps with him even though she’s not in love with him. (291) Mary is in love with James, her boyfriend. James is a bad boy. John is married to Madge. Now after I read about how James rides motorcycles and smokes marijuana, I thought he’d find out about John and do something stupid. No, I was surprised again. James and Mary smoke marijuana one day and...