What does Section A in "Happy Endings" suggest about what readers want in a story?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first story in Atwood's "Happy Endings" suggests that readers want to be hooked by the "how" and "why" of events and characters in a story.  By the end of section A, the reader learns that John and Mary have all the luxuries in life and that they are superficially happy, but at the end of the story, they both die and have no story left to tell.  At the end of "Happy Endings," the narrator says that readers should be concerned with the hows and whys of the journey, not the whats of the end. 

Further, section A sets up "Happy Endings" as a satire on the role that romantic fiction plays in building up our sense of ideal relationships.  In this case, the reader wants to be reminded that believing in such ideals is absurd and fruitless.

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Happy Endings

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