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There was a story you once read (or saw, or heard) – and it didn’t end the way it should have ended. And that really annoyed you, right? So how *should* it have ended?

When I was in high school I didn’t appreciate the tragic romanticism of certain writers such as Tolstoy, Flaubert and Bronte. When I read Anna Karenina, I identified with the confusion and the desire for the seemingly unobtainable and forbidden passions, after all I was a teenage girl, if it is unobtainable and forbidden, it is automatically more desirable. While reading Madame Bovary, I remember getting so exasperated with her, understanding her willingness to risk everything for love but not understanding her concurrent obsession with all things materialistic. Similarly with Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff would drive me mad with his arrogance and refusal to allow anyone in: Catherine herself wasn’t off the hook from my frustration. Her similar arrogance and immaturity vis a vis her true feelings towards Heathcliff made for painful reading at times. All I wanted for these tragic characters was a little happiness and tranquility. Now as an older reader, I appreciate the masterpieces for what they are, brilliant insights into the frailty of human nature and its inner demons.

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