Raymond Carver's Change in Style

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Raymond Carver’s Change in Style

Raymond Carver is probably best known for his minimalist style. A lot of his stories followed this style of writing. He was dedicated to his short stories and was even quoted as saying he was “hooked on writing short stories” (Carver, Maturity: Cathedral 2). One of the reasons he wrote short stories and used his minimalist style was because of his life. He had other jobs so he worked a lot of the time and wrote in his spare time which made writing short stories more feasible, not to mention he liked writing them. His minimalist style was impressed upon him by editors of the papers he wrote for who demanded it. Carver’s form of minimalism is a unique one which grew throughout his literary career and no works better show that then “The Bath” and the later version “A Small Good Thing.” Both stories have the same central plot and most of the details remain the same, but the way Carver tells each story is dramatically different. His earlier stories use this same minimalist style but we see a change and even growth in his writing as he moves away from minimalism and embraces description.

The fundamentals stay the same in both stories, which end up having about the same effect on the reader. Ann, Scotty’s mother, orders a birthday cake from the baker, Scotty is hit by a car and taken to a hospital where a doctor assures the family that Scotty will be fine, when in actuality, it seems that Scotty’s condition is getting worse. Throughout “A Small Good Thing”, Carver adds a tremendous more amount detail into the story, which separates him from the minimalist style used in “The Bath.” In doing so, Carver gives up the chance for any open ended questions or any space for the reader’s imagination, which could make for a stronger story and more insight into the characters. For example, in “A Small, Good Thing” the baker is described as being abrupt, but in “The Bath” he just seemed to come off as rude. Also the actions of...
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