Study Guide

Austenland What's Up With the Ending?

By Shannon Hale

What's Up With the Ending?

Ever After

Jane spends a lot of time thinking about her super romantic, happy ending. That seems to be all that matters to her. Not the journey it takes to get there, just how she's going to end up. We're even told "[Jane] needed a good ending, the best ending, though her imagination couldn't dredge up exactly what that should be" (3.73). Yeesh, what is she going to do if she doesn't get this ending?

Her friend Molly even calls her out on her call-every-man-a-potential-husband craziness, and Jane realizes that "entire relationship[s were] condensed and reformed in her mind to be solely about [the] ending"(3.74). But despite her excessive zeal, Jane does eventually get the happy ending, and the man, she hopes for.

Our Jane is blessed with a melodramatic showdown in the airport between Martin and Henry, her two rival suitors. They quite literally engage in fisticuffs for her affection. And Henry storms onto the plane at the last minute, pledges his undying love for Jane, and flies back to New York with her. Predictably, Jane eats it all up.

We know that our favorite novel characters never truly "meet their ends" in the books we read. Somewhere out there in literary land, Jane's story is still going on. We wonder if she and Henry are happy, watching TV and eating take-out, or if Jane is focused on her next ending. Marriage. A baby. A mental institution. Who knows? Only time (and some devoted fanfiction) will tell.

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