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Margaret Atwood Happy Endings

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Margaret Atwood Happy Endings

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  • November 2008
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Happy Endings. Or Are They?
Never have I read a short story quite like Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood. As a matter of fact, a good amount of my peers and I have become baffled on whether or not to even refer to it as a legitimate story. It is divided into four parts, each giving a very frank and emotionless set of love scenarios. She purely tells it like it is; simply fact-based and stoic without any sort of feeling whatsoever. One thing leads to another, and that is that. Overall, the language that Atwood uses in Happy Endings is very blunt and forward, and this is proven by the sentence structure and word choice throughout the passage.

One of example of the way Margaret Atwood’s use of short sentences is seen in the very first paragraph, in section A. “They buy a charming house. Real Estate values go up. Eventually, when they can afford live-in help, they have two children, to whom they are devoted” (Atwood 90). As one can plainly see, these sentences seem a bit strange to be in a story, for they are simply listing off events that occurred in John and Mary’s life while failing to further elaborate on them. However, the first section of this story is perhaps the most straightforward only because this scenario tells the tale from an ideal perspective. No problems arise throughout this section, yet in the other sections Atwood offers many different scenarios. Despite the fact, the sentence structure does not change all that much. “One evening John complains about the food. He has never complained about the food before. Mary is hurt” (Atwood 90). Again, she continues on with simply listing off how one thing would lead to another without going into details or offering a further explanation through the use of more varied sentences.

Another way that Atwood comes off as very plain and honest is through the words that she uses. In section A, she actually uses the same set of adjectives twice within only a few sentences of each other. “John and Mary have a...

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