Things Aren't Always What They Seem

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  • Topic: Medical terminology, Magic constant, A Story
  • Pages : 3 (1078 words )
  • Download(s) : 243
  • Published : October 3, 2012
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Things Aren’t Always What They Seem To Be

Raymond Carver’s use of generalization of “key” events serves to help further evolve the simple theme. Without the presence of supporting details, the story ends with the right amount of emphasis on what is necessary to understand the basic concept. This basic and simple theme expresses the use of food as a type of consoling agent. Throughout this story, references to food show up during times of tension, stress, or grief. The story, for example, begins in a bakery where a mother is planning for her son’s birthday. The story then continues until the boy, while eating chips, is hit by a car. Later on in the hospital, the comment is made that there was an unpleasant food smell in the hospital. All of these references together, add up to theme of consolation.

Generally, if there were an unpleasant scene or a major event in a story, it would be described in great detail and with extreme lengths. However, what would seem to be one of the “key events” extremely lacked details. The major event that comes to mind first, would be when Scotty is involved in the hit and run accident; Carver doesn’t describe the event into much more detail than that; the fact that the scene seems to be a very important aspect in the story’s sequence of events doesn’t even seem to matter (Carver 263). Another fairly important example would be while Scotty is in the hospital. His status is not described in great detail (263-274). This is a major sign that the focus is something simple and uncharacteristic of a typical story. Most stories would have made a big deal about the victim’s status in the hospital to show the severity of the accident, but Carver just uses him as a pawn in his story (Born 15).

Proper names help to personalize and define character roles. In Carver’s story, he withheld proper names in an attempt to keep emphasis off of what he would consider to be the less important details (White1). This became evident even in the...
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