Happy Endings Essay

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Andrews Henningfeld is an associate professor of English literature and composition who has written extensively for educational publishers. In this essay, she considers Margaret Atwood's experimental short story as a work of metafiction, which is fiction that plays with the nature and creation of fiction.

Margaret Atwood's short story "Happy Endings" is a very short story that does not even look like a story. Most short stories have characters, setting, and plot. In addition, short stories generally mimic real life in some way. Atwood instead chooses to use a structure in "Happy Endings" that looks more like the outline of a story than a story itself. The characters she supplies are more like cutout dolls than developed characters, there is no identifiable setting, and she offers six possible plots in about 1500 words. This experimental structure calls attention to the story as a work of fiction that bears little...

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This section contains 2,263 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Happy Endings Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Happy Endings from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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