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Happy Endings By Margaret Atwood

Decent Essays
I many times wonder if I am making the right decision, following the right path or what my mission on earth is. “Happy endings” by Margaret Atwood provides the reader with six diverse descriptions of four characters resulting in “the only authentic ending … John and Mary die” (Atwood 515).

In “Happy Endings” the reader is encountered with contrasting stories of John and Mary. On section A John and Mary live a happy “stimulating and challenging” life (Atwood 514) they don’t encounter major worries until they eventually die. On section B, Mary loves John, but the love is not mutual. John “merely uses her body for selfish pleasure and ego gratification.” (Atwood 514) Mary tries viciously to impress him with the goal of getting married one day. Later she discovers that he has been going on restaurant dates with Madge; Mary overdoses on pills while drinking sherry and dies. John’s and Madge’s life continues as in A. On Section C, Mary is the one who does not love John, since he is twice her age she only feels bad for him. John as great life with his wife Madge, yet he decides to cheat on his wife with Mary. Meanwhile, Mary is truly in love with James, who is her age and not ready to settle down yet. John walks into Mary’s apartment and finds them “stoned and entwined.”(Atwood 514) He then shoots the two of them plus himself. Madge later marries Fred, and everything continues as in A. In section D, Fred and Madge have a great life just like in section A, but their house is
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