So Much Water so Close to Home

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Jordan Williams
Sara Howe
English 101
17 September 2010
“So Much Water So Close To Home”
In So Much Water So Close To Home, Raymond Carver explores the hardships that society brings upon us by using dialogue and character development to reveal that men and women alike have difficulty reconciling the differences in ethical and moral values. Carver is able to do this by relating to topics that demonstrate the character’s difference in morality. These include such things as death, gender stereotypes, and relationships. While discussing these topics, Carver reflects upon society’s social standard and compares that with the roles of the characters throughout the story.

Raymond Carver, as an author, is known for his broad use of minimalism within his short stories and poems. His stories usually revolve around themes involving alcoholism, death, stereotypes, and morality. In So Much Water So Close To Home, Carver follows along these lines mainly focusing on society’s view on what is morally right and wrong. In the story, a man, Stuart, goes camping with friends for the weekend up in the mountains. In the course of this fishing trip, the men come across a young girl’s body floating in the water. They simply tie the girl to the tree to prevent her from floating adrift and continue on with their weekend plans. After returning home, Stuart explains to his wife, Claire, the events that occurred over the weekend, briefly mentioning the found body as if it was not of great significance. For the duration of the story, Carver explores stereotypical gender roles and relationships by revealing dialogue between the married couple and reactions they have to the unfortunate event they have come across.

In Carver’s story, Stuart poses as a character representing the stereotypical male in today’s society, however the author also exposes a state of emotional instability present in Stuart’s personality. Carver’s perspective on the typical male is revealed by certain...
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