Open EndingsIt seems that more authors of contemporary short-stories are opting for the open endings. Personally, I love it; there is an interaction between the reader, character and writer-- an...

Open Endings

It seems that more authors of contemporary short-stories are opting for the open endings. Personally, I love it; there is an interaction between the reader, character and writer-- an understood agreement that life just like the story is an open ending, but many people prefer endings with a precise conclusion. Why? 

Asked on by hopscotch

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amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Probably because it's human nature.  I once observed in Las Vegas a woman running a set of slot machines who kept telling the people playing them how much money to put in the machines.  I asked her why she did it, and she said, "Because people want to be told what to do.  They are trained from early on to follow directions."  So, perhaps she is right.  We are trained to follow directions and we want stories to have nice, neat endings that we don't have to think too much about.  This may be especially true for people who don't particularly like to read.

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soundrose | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Hello,hope that you are in very good conditions!

i need your help in Nathaniel Hawthorn style of writing.

The Ambitious Guest,The Antique Ring and The Black Cat give a representation of man's imperfect condition as seen through 19 th c American literature comment.

Wish to read from you.

 

 

hopscotch's profile pic

hopscotch | Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

In the order of literature, as in others, there is no act that is not the coronation of an infinite series of causes and the source of an infinite series of effects.
Jorge Luis Borges

 

I like to think of Borge's words as I write short-stories--the characters in the end are trapped in the aftermath of their destiny, and conclusions are not always resolved.

Borge's short-stories are filled with open ending because of their circular timeless themes. He is one of the authors that not only succeeds, but masters the art of great open ending stories.

hopscotch's profile pic

hopscotch | Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Probably because it's human nature.  I once observed in Las Vegas a woman running a set of slot machines who kept telling the people playing them how much money to put in the machines.  I asked her why she did it, and she said, "Because people want to be told what to do.  They are trained from early on to follow directions."  So, perhaps she is right.  We are trained to follow directions and we want stories to have nice, neat endings that we don't have to think too much about.  This may be especially true for people who don't particularly like to read.

I think your last statement is true, after all, satisfaction is a big part of life.

Open ending stories are satisfactory, but the reader has to find that realization of satisfaction.

As you mention, what king of ending you like best, could possible dictate what kind of person you are.  Do you want to be told what to do or think--or would you rather search and discover it yourself? After all, a big part of literature is the discovery of human nature and the self.

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