How the Story Ends: Gender, Sexuality, and Nation in the Happy Ending
Heather Schell and Katherine Larsen
The happy ending is often considered a particularly pernicious form of American pabulum, something that is too easy, simplistic, and pleasurable to be trusted or valued. While happy endings to narratives are common, little critical work has been done to define and analyse this trope in more than a cursory way. We invited a number of people in relevant fields and professions to respond to a handful of prompts about the happy ending. We then adopted Kenneth Burke’s (1973) metaphor of scholarship as conversation (110), weaving their ideas together creating a dynamic, polyphonic exploration of the happy ending.