Whenever I hear the term end phrase "and they lived happily ever" the cynical part of me always asks "But do they really?". Our definition of happiness and living a life that one can consider full and happy is both individualistic. Reading both Skylar and Melisa's posts, along with Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood, I see how ones definition of a good "happy" ending versus the "unhappy" endings can be very different. This leads me into an idea I have grappled with, being the idea that the ending of a life can be considered happy.
This born to die motif that both Melisa and Skylar touch on is interesting and I find myself questioning my own ideas of death. Of course death is sad and I fear death but this does not take away the possibility of happiness in an ending. Yes John and Mary will eventually die. But this fact does not change the lives of the individuals. Each story centers around life. Call my naïve but this common thread between the stories, a commentary of life, as Skylar points out, has a message about the living, not the dead. I think these stories, while they all end with eventual death of the characters, speaks about the deepness or shallowness of a life. And while its sad and scary you can't stop living your life.
These lives that the individual characters lead some may not be considered happy or fulfilling to some but that does not seem to matter. Each still ends with a "happily ever after". This brings the thought I mentioned in the beginning of the post, that happiness is individualistic. While one reader may see story A as sad, being the characters lives are boring, another may find happiness in simplicity of their lives. It is interesting to see others ideas of what "happiness" truly is and I think Melisa's idea of bringing this story into a classroom setting would create interesting discussion.