Apr 2 2009, 4:58pm
the choice of child doesn't turn catastrophe into eucastastrophe. Being unexpected is not the only requirement -- the eucatastrophe also turns a tragedy into a comedy in an instant. As far as I can tell, it is a very rare bird, if we distinguish it from common ordinary deus ex machina. For example, the Wikipedia article on eucatastrophe cites one and only one example -- LotR.
Tolkien would argue that we find another example in his model, the Gospels, and he also gave an example from a fairy-story -- sorry, I'm not sure which one it was. But I think eucatastrophe is much less common than deus ex machina, and much, much less common than a generic happy ending.
(This post was edited by Curious on Apr 2 2009, 5:03pm)