The British novelist Fay Weldon offers this observation about happy endings: “The writers, I do believe, who get the best and most lasting response from the readers are the writers [like Shakespeare] who offer a happy ending through moral development. By a happy ending, I do not mean mere fortunate events—a marriage or a last-minute rescue from death—but some kind of spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation, even with the self, even at death. The Marriage Plot has the kind of ending Weldon describes. In a well-written essay, identify the “spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation” evident in the ending and explain its significance in the work as a whole. CONSIDER INTRODUCTION Give some context about the kind of work which expects the “happy ending” to include a marriage (think Persuasion) Explore the context of the novel—discuss the “angle” you will take—mental health, emotional fulfillment, idealism etc Decide which character or characters you will discuss (the spiritual reassessment and/or moral reconciliation can be different characters or all the same person) THESIS—CLEARLY state the point you will make in the essay BODY PARAGRAPHS FOCUS the paragraph wth a clear topic sentence designed to build your argument Include specific evidence (either detailed paraphrase or exact quotes) to support claims CONCLUDE each body paragraph with a closing statement addressing the way the evidence of that paragraph built that part of the argument CONCLUSION DON’T say “in conclusion” DO revisit briefly the “skeleton” of the argument you presented. Present the final statement which sums up your thoughts on the thesis and topic Must be in MLA format.
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