Happy endings have been standard fare in literature for millennia. Odysseus' trials finally bring him home to Ithika. Dante journeys through Hell to get there, but eventually he sees the Beatific Vision.
Later in literary history, Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen's Emma and Elizabeth Bennett in her Pride and Prejudice suffer a variety of travails, failures, and setbacks, but in the end, they both fall in love, marry well, and their happiness is complete.
Unrealistic? Silly? Little more than one of those cheap romance novels for sale in airports? Or do happy endings in Jane Austen tell us something crucial about human nature, human desire, and the human condition?
Dr. Tiffany Shubert teaches humanities and the Trivium here at Wyoming Catholic College. Among her academic interests are the happy ending and the novels of Jane Austen. Dr. Shubert is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.