Happy Endings Margaret Atwood

What point does Margaret Atwood seem to be trying to make about plots in "Happy Endings"?

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In this piece of metafiction, Margaret Atwood makes the point that "what" happens in a life or a story, the plot, is of little importance because all plots, whether in life or in fiction that possesses an "authentic ending," end the same way: in death. She presents a number of very different plots: some include suicide, others espionage, some cancer, and others have "no problems" at all. The point is that the details of each plot really just consist of "a what and a what and a what" and that "The only authentic ending is the one provided here: John and Mary die." No matter the plot, no matter how distinct it is, it must and will end the same way. Atwood further downplays the importance of plot when she says, "That's about all that can be said for plots."

She ends the piece by saying, "Now try How and Why." In other words, then, "how" and "why" are of far more importance and interest than "what." We should be focused not on what happens but why and how it happens. For example, why do we say the...

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