Why Don't You Dance

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Engelsk B Studentereksamen


“Why don’t you dance” is a short story by Raymond Carver. The short story takes place in the man’s front yard among his furniture. Clearly, the man is sad about something. I would say his wife has just passed away. As it is said in the text: ”His side, her side.” The man drinks a lot of whiskey, because he mourns her death. Therefore he sells or gives all his furniture away. Too many memories.

A young couple comes by and immediately becomes interested in the furniture. They try out the bed, the TV, and then the man shows up. He gladly wants to sell the furniture. And for 10$ less. The girl is very eager to buy the furniture. And as the girl says: "Whatever they ask, offer ten dollars less. It's always a good idea." She seems like a bright and happy girl. From what she says, she must be from the working class. She knows how to bargain. The boy seems nice too. He is very curious about the house and furniture, so that means he is vigilant and smart. Although he is just like any other man, and “falls in love” with the TV. The style of writing is very detailed in the beginning of the short story. But Raymond Carver does that on purpose. He wants to show the reader that the man stands with his whiskey in his hand, looking out into the yard. “The mattress was striped and the candy-striped sheets lay beside two pillows on the chiffonier. Except for that, things looked much the way they had in the bedroom—nightstand and reading lamp on his side of the bed, nightstand and reading lamp on her side.” The man has put the bedroom furniture in the yard just like it was in the bedroom. He misses his wife, and tells the reader his own way.

The mood of the short story is clearly sad. Grey, darkness, never-ending memories. The man lives in his memories now, and he has nothing left. That might be the reason why he wants to get rid of his furniture. He wants to get rid of the memories of his wife and the pain inside him. This is the last...
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