Raymond Carver

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Most of the stories from Raymond Carver share the same topic, alcoholism. But there are two particular stories “Chef’s House” and “Where I’m Calling From” that have certain similarities and differences. In “House” Edna agrees to reunite with her alcoholic husband, Wes, for one summer to share a friend's beach house. During the summer Wes refrains from drinking, to enjoy the summer. When Chef returns, requiring Edna and Wes to leave, everything changes again. In “Calling,” we meet two patients of an alcoholic facility who share their experiences in life. In fact, “House” and “Calling” differ in the setting of the stories, but are similar because they both have friends who were or are alcoholic and also because the addiction to alcohol has ruined their lives. First, the stories differ in the setting. On one hand, in “House,” the story takes place during the summer in a beach house. The main character Wes calls Edna to ask her to spend the summer with him after their separation caused by Wes’s alcoholic problem. Wes would not take a no for an answer therefore he uses the weather to captivate Edna: “Edna, you can see the ocean from the window. You can smell the salt in the air (qtd. In Carver 27) In contrast, in “Calling,” the story takes place at an alcoholic rehabilitation facility during the period between Christmas and New Years day. As a consequence, the dry out facility is a place of isolation and sadness. For most part of the story, the narrator sits on the front porch with a fellow patient named J.P. whom he has just met and has never stayed at the facility before. The narrator notes and implies that the weather is too cold: “J.P. and I get out of the chairs and to go inside. It’s starting to get too cold…We can see our breath drifting out from as we talk” (qtd. in Carver 140). However, there are also similarities between “House” and “Calling.” For example both main characters of each story have or have had alcoholic friends. In “House,” Wes rents a beach...
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