I grew up reading tons of books, and as time went on, I discovered that a lot of them followed the same pattern. The prince always married a poor commoner, or vice versa; the player always fell for the one who wasn’t interested and several other scenarios. One thing that was common to all these books was a happy ending.
The first time I read a book with a tragic open end, I was in shock. I’m a crier when it comes to books and movies.
Apart of me thinks a great book or movie should evoke all sorts of emotions.
As you can imagine, I cried really hard when I finished this book and kept to myself for a while. I thought for a long time, how could the author do this? What was going on in the author’s head?
A few days after, an unfortunate incident occurred and my mind went back to the book I had read. And it struck me, life doesn’t always have happy endings, and prince charmings, in the complete, sense almost never exist. The author made sense now. Life was not always happy-go-lucky and that was well depicted in the book.
As time went on, and as I understood the complexity and challenges that surrounded being human, I appreciated books that had not-so-happy endings because they seemed to mirror life just right.
I was always quick to criticize books that had these clichés and happy-go-lucky characters, and even if the characters were not so lucky, things always turned out just perfect. The authors had to be way in over their heads and were feeding wrong fantasies to readers.
One day, I picked up a book to read. It was a period when things were not going so great for me. The book was cliché in every sense of the word, but when I was done, I had a huge smile on my face. I was totally grateful for the happy ending.
And then it struck me again, clichés are an absolute necessity in the world of imagination.
Happy endings and the clichés attached could be an escape from the not so great things happening around the reader. Sometimes, you don’t need a book to point to you how awfully challenging life could be, you’re already very much aware of that. Happy endings create a hope that things could actually shape up for the better.
Our imagination does not have to be shaped according to life’s sad realities, I know I fell in love with cartoons because of that.
I’m not denying that happy clichés may cause unrealistic fantasies for readers, and I’m not denying that the realistic books help us to understand the ugly and unflattering truth about society and its vices. All I’m saying is that authors seem to have forgotten the magic associated with happy clichés and are so bent on deviating from the norm and leaving their readers sad or a little empty at the end.
Clichés are not crimes, and the authors are not offenders.
We shouldn’t expel beautiful heartwarming stories just because they are not true enough. Our best childhood stories would be ruined if they were all based on truth.
I hope I have spoken for clichés and their happy endings. I miss you and I’ll love to see you more.