“Happy ending” is Margaret Atwood short fiction story about two undeveloped character, whom she called John and Mary. The story itself is very different from most of other short stories, Atwood present six different stories with all same character and each story provide different plot with the same conclusion. However, what stood out most is Atwood visibly addressed the stereotypical belief women are inferior to men, representing the gender bias against women. Firstly, the stereotypical belief that considering women are sexually objectified and treated as an object by the male.
Secondly, women are predominately interested in a marriage and can do anything to get married. Lastly, Atwood discourses woman are more frequently cheated because they are emotional. Initially, in “Happy Ending” Atwood addresses the stereotypical belief that women are sexually objectified and treated as an object by men. In scenario B, Mary being protagonist is the way of Atwood to demonstrate readers that in social culture context women are sexually objectified and viewing their body as an object of male sexual desire.
As Atwood mentioned “He merely uses her body for selfish pleasure and ego ratification of a tepid kind”(Atwood, 1989, 5). This quote clearly explains that john, doesn’t even love Mary, but he uses her body as an object to fulfill his sexual desire. John often comes in her apartment where Mary cooks a dinner for him and she does everything that pleases him. The only thing John cares about is her body “after he’s eaten he fucks her and after that he falls sleep” (Par 5).
John mind is preoccupied with stereotypical belief where he thinks women are insignificant to men that he doesn’t consider Mary as an important person in his life. eats the dinner Mary cooked and have sex with her, Mary stay awake to wash the dishes and “puts on fresh lipstick”(Par 5). Thinking she will look good and get an attention from john but, unfortunately, John doesn’t give any attention towards her after he fulfilled his sexual desire. We can really see the link between Atwood short story fiction and stereotypical belief that women are sexually objectified. However, not only Atwood presents the men treating women as an object but she also addresses women are predominately interested in marriage and can do anything for it.
Atwood short fiction story “Happy ending” constantly mentioned “marriage” (Par 5) to infers how women are obsessed with marriage and they put lots of effort to get her men depend on her so they can get married. As Atwood clearly mentioned “she act as if she’s dying for it every time, not because she like sex exactly, she doesn’t, but she wants John to think she does because if they do it often enough surely he’ll get used to her, he’ll come to depend on her and they will get married”(Par 5).
If people truly love each ther they really don’t have to make any comprise in their life in order to get marry, marriage happens to depend on an amount of they love each other and level of readiness Indeed, this quote explains regardless to the fact that Mary didn’t experience any happiness from having sex with john but still she slept with John to please him. She sacrifices her body and also compromises her likability so she can please john and thinks he becomes more dependent on her so that would possibly lead to marriage. Moreover, Mary deeply sinks in love with John that she suicide.
Atwood writes, Mary collects all the sleeping pill and aspirins she can find, and takes them and half a bottle of sherry”(Par 6). Mary downed as many pills as she could find with a bottle of sherry, in hope john would show up and “get her to the hospital in time and repent and they can get married”(Par 6). Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and she passed away. That illustrates Mary is so obsessed with getting marry to the john, did everything for it. She sacrifices her body, compromise her likeability and even puts her life at risk. Moreover, we can see how Atwood demonstrate gender bias against female, where women