Happy Endings | Study Guide

Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood

Year Published



Short Story


Women's Studies

Perspective and Narrator

"Happy Endings" has a third-person omniscient narrator who occasionally addresses the reader directly in second-person narration.


The story "Happy Endings" is told in the present tense.

About the Title

Near the conclusion of "Happy Endings," the narrator says there is only one real ending to the story: "John and Mary die. John and Mary die. John and Mary die." This sentiment suggests "happy endings" occur only in fairy tales and not in real life. The happy ending typically associated with the genre of romance—blissful marriage—is a lie; in reality, sexual relationships are much more complex.


This study guide for Margaret Atwood's Happy Endings offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.


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