“A Small, Good Thing”
“A small, good thing” by Raymond Carver brings a lot of vivid images to mind for me. Even though the writing is minimalistic, the story came alive. The lack of description enabled me to read the story and project characters from my own life in the place of the ones the author had created. From the beginning of “A small, good thing” I put my nephew, my niece, and my own son in the place of the boy in the story. The emotional tie to the stories outcome is what made me keep reading. For me, the meaning of the story is forgiveness. There is a family that has lost a beloved son, a baker who made a cake for someone who is yelling at him and refusing to pick up the cake, and a family waiting for their son to get out of surgery. The story follows Scotty’s mother as she deals with her son’s hospitalization. In the beginning the mother is very judgmental and alone in her pain, but throughout the story she opens up; first to her husband, and then to the baker. The reason I think the story is about forgiveness is that all the characters in the story must forgive to have the peace at the end. The mother and father must forgive the baker for his insensitive calls, and realize that he is a lonely man whose life revolves around the bakery. The baker must forgive the man and his wife for their anger and for not coming to pick up their cake. He has to let it go, and help the man and woman cope with the greatest loss of their lifetime. He gives them forgiveness and compassion, and they come to peace together.
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