Happy Endings Question

L. M. Montgomery's stories invariably end happily. Do you find the endings to her stories contrived? Do you think she gave in to audience pressures by writing her tales to please them? What alternate endings can you envision for her writings?

This is a question that I lifted from http://www.tickledorange.com/LMM/Questions.html
because I thought we could use a new question for a new week, and my mind couldn't think of one at this time. It is one that I find very interesting and wonder how all of you feel as well.
3 Responses
  1. geeruby Says:

    I think LMM's happy endings are OK because there is always at least SOME pain and suffering in her stories. For instance, Rilla ends happily with Ken coming home to her -- but they lost Walter. Emily ends happily -- but only after the jilting of Dean, Emily's accident, and Emily almost losing Teddy. I think they're pretty realistic, given that every LMM heroine experiences some agony. It's as if they've EARNED their happy endings -- so they deserve them!


  2. I agree. They are realistic happy endings. Some are very bittersweet. "Anne of Green Gables" ends so soon after the death of Matthew. Anne had to put off college in order to help Marilla. She had some disappointments in some ways, but she still looked forward to the future, AND she made friends with Gilbert.

    In Rilla, we are happy that Ken came back to Rilla, Jem returned, and generally happy that the war was over and won. However, we to have the prevading sadness of Walter's death, and all of the other pains that the war brought.

    Anne's House of Dreams actually ends on a little note of sadness at their leaving the House of Dreams for Ingleside.

    Of course, part of the reason I love Montgomery's works is because of their happy endings. I like to escape when I read, and I'm not found of things that end on an overly depressing note. That's why I'm not a fan of Hemmingway. His books just make me feel horrible. I prefer not fantastically happy endings, but like Ruby said, happy endings that are earned.


  3. Beatle Chic Says:

    I think LMM was being realistic or as realistic as she could be. She wrote about things she knew, so real life gave way to fictional life. I agree with Ruby and Adriennelane--happy endings that are earned are endings I like. They give more meaning and ties to a book sometimes. I don't think LMM wrote happy endings just because. . .that would be like writers and directors of movies during the Great Depression ending the movies with happy endings just because of what was going on in the world at the time. They wanted to take their audience out of the troubled times and into a world where things ended on a happier note. Though, I guess it did give them hope for better times to come, but that was understandable.

    I think LM felt she had to write more about Anne after a while or sometimes, due to Anne's popularity, but she never expected Anne to be so popular. Maybe she did give in after a while and that's why we feel some things are lacking there. She just didn't know what to write so she wrote something, hoping to satisfy the Anne fans of the time.

    Alternate endings? Isn't that how ff got started? Fans feeling a lack of something from a book so they wrote alternate endings to satisfy themselves. I think we all map out different endings to books, though they could be considered extensions sometimes.

    But overall, I am happy with LMM's happy endings. It's nice to escape to a world that once existed in history.