Unbound (All Good Things #1) Available on Amazon/Smashwords/Unknown (All Good Things #2) coming soon.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Happy Endings

My son loves the song Puff the Magic Dragon right now. He sings it every night and only gets about a third of the words right. It's adorable. So I pulled up the song on youtube so he could hear the original Peter, Paul and Mary version. Do you know it? I had to leave the room by the end. I was sobbing. It's such a sad song. And what surprised me was that there was no happy ending. The dragon goes into his cave and…that's it. He's lonely and no longer brave and Jackie Paper is probably an accountant in Ohio who has lost his soul.

I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with other examples of unhappy endings in pop culture or children's entertainment and…I've got nothing. Instead, I'm starting to suspect that slowly and  methodically, happy endings have taken over. Is it a coincidence that the much-mocked generation of entitled young adults have been raised on stories where everything worked out in the end? Maybe I'm over thinking this, but I'm wondering if the hullabaloo (ahem, a literary term) over Allegiant might be in some small way connected to our inability to tolerate unhappiness. The sheer lack of exposure people have had to things…not working out. Real life is ambiguous and uncertain. Sure, we can slog on believing our happily ever after is just around the corner, but on a day to day basis, it's a work in progress isn't it?

Maybe we need more unhappy endings to normalize the idea that life isn't fair. And to increase our sense of wonder and gratitude when things do work out in our favour?

Your turn. Could we all do with a dose of ambivalent endings? 

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