“Happy Ending”

Postmodernism is a Western philosophy that is characterized by broad subjectivism, relativism, and skepticism. The term is hard to define, although it is often referred to as an ideological response to modernism, which rejects traditional ideas about the way the world works. The postmodern world is not a harmonious one and the promise of a better future is not relevant. The postmodern theory is also made of various concepts such as metanarrative, anti-classicism, anti-modernism, irony, and simulacra among others. Relating the concept of anti-modernism to Mary Atwood’s “Happy Endings” A is the perfect example of a happy ending. The concept of anti-modernism is a deliberate philosophical estrangement from the past. Within the short story by Mary, anti-modernism is displayed in B when Mary does everything to win over John. Unfortunately, John does not fall in love with Mary as expected. In fact, the story has a tragic ending when Mary takes an overdose of sleeping pills and aspirins with the hope that John would rescue her and marry her. However, this does not happen, as Mary dies, and John marries Madge. 

Freud Sigmund’s theory explains the development of sex. In the story, specifically in B Mary engages in sexual activities because she hopes that she can win John and get him to marry her. Relating Freud’s theory, Mary’s frustrations and fantasy represent the id, which is illogical, selfish, and wishful in nature. Mary is illogical in the sense, even after her friends let her know of John’s philandering ways, she still hopes she can win over John by attempting suicide. The ego in Mary operates to satisfy the id’s demands by agreeing to have sex with John even though she does not want it. The superego plays out in Mary as she gets run down and tells herself that crying is bad for her face and she stops crying because of her messed up relationship.

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