When I was little, my babysitter was Mrs. Clancy, who wore polyester pantsuits (with the top part sleeveless, over a turtleneck) and a rhinestone letter A necklace (she was Alice Clancy). SHe smoked Kools, menthol. She was old and a little bit crotchety but in the most loving way imaginable, and she used to watch her stories in the afternoons and play solitaire at the table, and she was altogether the best babysitter in the world. I think of her often, but I think of her now, because she once told me that when she read Gone with the Wind, when she got to the last line, "I threw that book against the wall. Ooh, I was so mad! 'I'll think about it tomorrow?' What the hell is that? I wanted to know what happened!"
See, Chestnut read My Real Children.
I'd brought it home from the library, and she snatched it off the coffee table and proceeded to devour it. She read it upstairs and downstairs and she carried it and read it walking down the street—you know the drill. And then the next day she came downstairs, furious. "It ends, but she doesn't tell you how it ends! I'M SO MAD!" She was the unwitting victim of…lack of closure.
There's a lot of lack of closure out there. You've got Eleanor and Park, which ends … tantalizingly. There's Inception. (I know, a movie, but still.) What's your feeling on this? Personally, I like closure, it's so satisfying! We never get closure in life, at least I don't mostly, and it's weirdly reassuring to know what happens to those fictional people you fell in love with. But I know, too, that there is a case to be made for loose ends. And lifelikeness (I know, not a word).
What do you think? Do you get pissed off, like Chestnut? Are you more easy-going, like no one I know? What does it mean for a story to end anyway?