A nice reflection by Joan Acocella on why we want our novels (and other forms of art) to tidy up the loose ends:
Art, whether fiction or not, is a challenge to entropy, a bumping up of something that must be flattened down again. When you think about it, it’s surprising that art is allowed to exist. It’s always a deviation: overly selective, overly concrete, and unfaithful, not to our actual experience but to our generalizing afterthoughts, the thoughts that get us through life. In “War and Peace,” when the excitable young heroine grows up and has kids and gets fat, young readers may be disappointed, but I think that adults may be comforted. Most of us want extraordinary things, after a while, to quit being extraordinary—to end. The stone fell in the water. The ripples ran. Now they should stop. The surface should be smooth again.