Good Dad, Bad Dad?
Writing a short story is like writing 5 stories in one, because the writer leaves gaps in the story that the reader will subconsciously fill in. Because of that the story will be very different from one reader's perspective to the next. In Raymond Carver's short story "Popular Mechanics," there is no clear ending. He also makes the story pretty vague by leaving out quotation marks, not telling the reader who is saying what, giving no background, and only allowing each character to say a few words at a time. The story as whole leads up to the ambiguous ending that leaves each reader with their own interpretation of what Carver's story is actually about. Carver lets the reader take the story into their own hands from the very beginning by permitting the reader to naturally decide who is really at fault for the family falling apart. The biggest debate about how the story ends is by these two sentences Carver surprises us with at the end, "He felt the baby slipping out of his hands and he pulled back very hard. In this manner the issue was decided." Some may say that the baby was being pulled on by both parents and eventually the baby's arm is ripped off, then deciding who keeps the baby. However, I could not disagree more. I believe that when Carver writes that the father pulls back very hard, he is saying the father lets go of the baby and pulls himself out of the fight. Therefore, I will argue that the father is the better parent and spouse in Carver's "Popular Mechanics." I will back up my opinion to you by looking more in depth on Carver's writing style and filling in his gaps with clues from the text and other stories that Carver's is based around. Carver also uses everyone’s own life, and experiences to differ your view on his story. When I first read Carver’s short story I compared it to a bible story I heard as a kid. The story is found in 1 Kings, where two single women live together with their own infant sons, came to King...
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