Closure and the Shape of Fictions: The Example of “Women in Love”

  • M. Torgovnick


Readers have known that endings are important ever since men began to read or even to listen to stories. We pay tribute to the importance of endings in numerous ways. For example, even though knowing how a work ends makes it easier to analyze on a first reading, few of us really want to lose the suspense which accompanies a first reading. Therefore we commonly ask others not to “give away” the ending. When we’re baffled by a book, or consumed by curiosity and skip ahead to read the ending, we obey a contrary impulse, but one which also testifies to the importance of endings, to their ability to clarify just what a given fiction is “about.” When reviewers of films or novels almost ritualistically note and evaluate the ending of the work and its success or failure, they too acknowledge the first fact with which I begin: the importance of an ending to the form and meaning of a narrative work.


Subsequent Reading Narrative Fiction Audience Reaction Narrative Voice Perfect Harmony 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Torgovnick

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