Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The terrible devastation of an unhappy ending

I recently cried at an unhappy ending in a Japanese Drama. Sure it was sad and i cry a lot when I watch these movies. But this was different. I can't describe it; it was a feeling of devastation, a feeling of being cruelly tricked by the screenwriter, cruelly manipulated to hope for good and suddenly a bad ending occurred.
I wish I could describe this devastation.

I cried, yes...for the characters for also for something else...something I can't quite explain. I cried for my own heart, that it was tricked and led and manipulated like that -- that it was UNNECESSARILY made sad. I cried perhaps because I suddenly realized I was probably dealing with a cultural spirit of grief and melancholy that forces itself into even their most joyous stories. I wish I could describe the pain of those tears. It's heart-rending sorrow for the characters, mixed with anger at the mindset that makes unnecessarily sad bitter endings the norm.

How such a tiny country should have such a focus on family separation is beyond me! How such a competitive "winning" culture could have such an addition to the romance of death boggles the mind! It's almost as if stoicism nihilisim and sorrow have come together to create the perfect artform of cultural grief. I won't analyze it. I won't forgive it and I won't like it. It hurts my heart.

I like dark stories but I will never ever ever ever write a story that does this kind of devastating cruelty to ANYONE. Now that I know how it feels to be so crushed, I will remember what G K Chesterton said,

The popular preference for a story with "a happy ending" is not, or at least was not, a mere sweet-stuff optimism; it is the remains of the old idea of the triumph of the dragon-slayer, the ultimate apotheosis of the man beloved of heaven.— G. K. Chesterton

(Of course, maybe it's not the sensitive story-lover in me that is so wounded. It could be my issues of separated children or separated siblings. I still have some wounds in that area...but still......)


Satima Flavell said...

I agree, Carol. I hate to feel that I've been manipulated into feeling sad. If I'm going to be manipulated, at least let the outcome be cheerful! Heaven knows we see enough pain and sadness every day, without deliberately exposing ourselves to it!

Carole McDonnell said...

Hi Satima:

It's weird but I never realized I liked happy endings so much until all this stuff.

I definitely am gonna work on a story that is sad with a happy ending.


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