While Atwood is writing about people and the very real, sometimes shocking, consequences of their actions and about the pain caused by the overweening power of social stereotypes and selfish values, she is primarily writing about writing, so the characters in "Happy Endings" are essentially caricatures. Characterization is secondary to Atwood's examination of the effects of mass-market fiction.
Nevertheless, there are several distinct characters, including the two main ones, John and Mary. Featured in four of the six mini-stories, John and Mary change according to context; they...
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