Why does so much modern fiction involve grim and unhappy endings? Some people seem to think it is intellectually mature and brave, or realistic and cool to applaud sad endings. They despise idealism and people who like cheerful endings. For as long as I can remember there have been individuals who run everything down and treat it with cynicism, and think they are really cool for doing that. I'm getting to think that they are just posers. Any one who wants to go on living wants certain things to come out right. So what is their problem? Do they resent any one else being happy and optimistic because they are not? Or do they think always expecting the worst means that you will never be disappointed? I think they can be real 'phoneys' , as Holden Caulfield would have said. It can be a way of sounding tougher than they really are. Anyone who really doesn't care about anything has lost the will to live. If you can still be bothered talking, then you must have some feelings, and that means that you would like some things to have 'happy endings'. Why pretend otherwise? Who are the real cowards.? The ones who don't like to think about unhappy endings, or the ones who prented they don't care, when they do but can't admit it?
Some years ago, in Australia, a critic raised the concern that too many pessimmistic novels and films can leave kids without hope and increase their problem with depression. Obviously it is not good to make things seem better than they are and deny some of life's harsher realities, but you can overdo the idea of their being no hope in life. If ther were not some happy endings, how could anyone go on?