No matter what way I read “Happy Endings” I found it satirical. I thought it was mocking how anyone can honestly believe they will have a simple “happy ending” to their life or lives. I think the style Atwood chose to use is in direct contrast to her satirical style. As I read “A” it was more of a list than anything. It is supposed to be the most “happy ending” however Atwood’s syntax and diction lead me to read it sarcastically. Like life is this, this, and this; then we die.
I think Atwood’s main idea was that no matter what we do in our lives from life to death, in the end we all die; “You'll have to face it, the endings are the same however you slice it. Don't be deluded by any other endings, they're all fake, either deliberately fake, with malicious intent to deceive, or just motivated by excessive optimism if not by downright sentimentality. The only authentic ending is the one provided here: John and Mary die. John and Mary die. John and Mary die.”
I agree with Alex that it’s hard to get over the discomfort of not reading a traditional piece and that it is up to us to take the story wherever we want. I think we can compare this story with life itself, its up to us to pick the path we want to go down, but doing so, finding the how and why is not always going to be so simple like in “A”.
I also agree that the technical format is extremely important. Like Alex said, there is no cloud of detail to wade through making each character very concise. This is real and allows us to see the desires and hopes of each character. Without the use of poetic descriptions we can focus all our attentions strictly on the characters. Also there is no single setting or plot. This pushes me to zone in more on the characters as well. Atwood’s characters names are also very boring and typical; this allows me to be whomever I want in the story. It makes the stories more relatable you could say, but it also forces the reader to not get attached to any one character and just understand the idea behind the story.
The story ends with “F” where Atwood is challenging the reader to make up his or her own ending. She is being sarcastic saying “make John a revolutionary and Mary a counterespionage agent and see how far that gets you”. This backs up my idea of this piece being satirical.