Popular Mechanics by Raymond Carver

Topics: Thing, Anton Chekhov, O. Henry Award Pages: 2 (828 words) Published: March 1, 2006
In Popular Mechanics the author, Raymond Carver, uses painstaking details, numerous symbols, and an unusual title to convey the universal theme that not all relationships end happily. Carver uses all these things to his advantage. He brings out the theme of this depressing, but truthful story. Many couples these days experience the same thing that this one in particular went through. "Early that day the weather turned and the snow was melting into dirty water." Carver starts off the story in this way. It is obvious that something bad is coming or has even already happened. The tone is grim from the very beginning and it also gives us an idea of what is to come. The weather outside is dark, "But it was getting dark on the inside too." This leads us to think that the relationship might already be doomed. The details Carver provides us bring to light so many images. These images help us piece together the big picture; this relationship is doomed. Both, the man and women's attitudes toward each other also make us think that they are not very happy. They just seem to not care, about each other but they do care about their child. One would think that they would be mature enough to not act like children for the sake of their own child. However, they do not seem to care. Their anger must be past the point of being rational. She won't even let him take the picture of his child. He wants the baby, but so does she. They argue and quarrel like children. The author wants us to know, that they are far from happy, as is the baby. Carver certainly lets us know this in extreme detail and without this his story would not be the same. Raymond Carver uses so many symbols in this story that it is tedious to name them all. The most important would have to be the baby itself, the picture of the baby, the flower pot, and the weather. All of these symbols provide a specific meaning to the story and its theme. The baby is something they both love but yet it is not the solution to all...
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