Study Guide

Passion What's Up With the Ending?

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What's Up With the Ending?

"Passion" is not a cheerful story. It would earn three violins and a raisin on the Shmoop Sadness Scale (which we got rid of because it didn't make any sense). But maybe the story's final line suggests some hope:

In those days, it was enough money to insure her a start in life. (317)

It's not an attention-grabbing last line. It's the kind of last line that might inspire a shrug or an exasperated "That's it?" And in that case you might wonder why we ever thought to compare Alice Munro to Lebron James, because surely Lebron James would end his short story with a Sportscenter-worthy slam-dunk.


There's a lot of potential meaning to that final line. We're talking the kind of stuff that inspires amazing essays and spirited dinner conversations.

Grace stares into a storm of sadness, wrapped in a tornado of despair. Yet we know (with that last line that might at first seem so worthy of a shrug) that she chose to live her life. She got old, and maybe she fell in love and had a family. Or maybe she didn't. Maybe she became the world's greatest chair caner, or maybe she owns a hockey team. In any case, her life was probably like every other life—full of sad moments and happy moments, and altogether interesting.

So actually, the story's ending might be a secret slam-dunk. How does one perform a secret slam-dunk? We're not sure, but the mystery is part of the fun. 

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