A story ending can be happy or sad, and can leave the reader pensive, heartbroken, or uplifted. It ought to seal the reader’s satisfaction, and therefore should incorporate the elements from the story’s beginning and middle so as to be satisfying. Furthermore, the ending of a story is imperative because the author can use it to demonstrate how certain characters interpret the themes presented in the story. In fact, it gives the reader a final impression of what they have read.
From the stories “Before the Law” and “The Story of an Hour”, it is apparent that an ending of a story can dramatically affect the overall reading experience or impression. For instance, in the story “Before the Law”, the plot is self-evident and defies further explanation. It revolves around a man who tries to get in the desired entrance in vain and spends the rest of his life waiting for permission that no one actually granted. The identity of the law in respect to this story remains unrevealed.
However, in the end, the author gives an impression that the man had not been mistaken in his belief and that there is a hidden meaning to his life. This leaves the reader wondering whether the gatekeeper would have let the man in if he walked through the door. The author attempts to convey a message that the vagueness and ambivalence of the gatekeeper have been a function of supplicant’s failure to try to enter. If someone asks for permission from a doorkeeper instead of acting on their own, they will not be allowed in because it is the doorkeepers’ right to reject the request. The ending has thus changed the whole perception of the story.
In the story “The Story of an Hour’, the ending seems to be unreasonable since the initial predicament of the story is eventually undone. In the beginning, Mr Mallard is dying, but appears to be alive in the end. The twist is that Mrs Mallard’s life is lost despite the fact that relatives and friends put efforts in order to protect it. The ending has changed the perception of the entire story because Mrs Mallard has been killed by her husband’s presence, whereas everyone thought she would be killed by her husband’s absence. The author is trying to transmit the message that Mrs Mallard died of joy she experienced after realizing that her husband was still alive which gives the story the element of surprise.
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From the above discussed, it becomes apparent that the ending of a story is important as it provides the reader with a new perspective of the story that frequently differs from the initial one. Moreover, a story that lacks an ending does not form a completed opinion on the artwork that a reader is experiencing or enjoying. In fact, a story without an ending resembles a bridge that never reaches an opposite shore. Most short stories end with an epiphany where the characters experience a significant revelation or realization. However, it is vital to acknowledge that what might be perceived as an impressive ending by some reader might appear underwhelming to a different one. As for the author, they are not obliged to use the good ending in attempts to resolve everything because there is nothing wrong with leaving some questions unanswered. It is always better to leave some ambiguities for the reader’s imagination.
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Creating a good ending to a short story can be a challenging task because of the pressure that lies in its mystery. The final paragraph is what the readers take away from the story and what they are more likely to recall afterwards. A poor ending can ruin a story’s thematic concern, especially if the plot does not resolve itself thus spoiling the story. Therefore, a good ending should combine different plot moments in a singular compelling moment so as to instigate a high tension climax.