Random Quote: Mary Catherine Bateson

So, today, I came across this quote: “The timing of death, like the ending of a story, gives a changed meaning to what preceded it.” by  Mary Catherine Bateson.

I have no idea who Mary Catherine Bateson is. Wiki says she is an American writer and anthropologist. Anyway, it makes me wonder, mostly because I am coming to the end of the my short dragon story. Do story endings somehow have to change how you view the rest of it? I guess a story would be deeper if it did. I am trying think offhand of a story whose ending changed how I looked at that story’s beginning and/or middle. Maybe The Yellow Wallpaper? Not sure. The teacher told me the story had been written as a comment on the treatment of woman’s mental illness. If she hadn’t told me that – before I read the story! – I am sure I would have read the story differently. Other than that, not really. I mean, endings should make sense right? They need to flow naturally out of events and I am not sure how that goes with this whole the end giving a changed a meaning to what came before.


2 thoughts on “Random Quote: Mary Catherine Bateson

  1. Hmm. I think an ending that changes how you view the beginning/the entire story is remarkably profound. What came to me at first was Harry Potter. It was a completely logical progression but just from reading the first book, it’s not what you expect at all. And it makes such a heavy impact on you! I read it shaking my head (“no! no!!! no!!!!!”).

    A lot of books, once you get the message and you reread it, you go “THAT’S WHY THAT’S THERE.” I also think that has to do with the quote. A lot of writers put down words intentionally, you know? But you don’t know it’s intentional and it’s a sign until you know what happens in the end.

    I know I want my ending to be moving. I want people to be able to reread it and see things in a different light 🙂

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