In his work, Carver chooses to employ a minimalist style of diction which forces the reader to become more involved in the story and make inferences. For instance, Carver does not name his main characters. He refers to them only as “the boy”, “the girl”, and “the baby”. This encourages the reader to infer that the characters are young and immature parents. This choice also allows readers to easily put themselves in the story, as the terms ‘“boy”, “girl”, and “baby” are far more universal than specific names.
His jealousy, his prejudice against blind people, and his sense of humor are presented in absurd ways, allowing him to be a realistic and flawed character in an enjoyable way. The narrator’s relationship with his wife and Robert are also made more realistic through Carver’s use of humor. It also allows the reader to see the changes in the narrator’s character as he becomes less standoffish towards Robert and finally begins to understand and relate to
In Cathedral Carver’s tone is very pessimistic in the beginning, displaying the fact that he is not looking forward to hosting a blind man in his home that he has never met and seemingly has no interest in meeting. The main character talks about the blind men he had seen in the movies and even jokes around with his wife about what activities they could do together, and all the while he has is dreading the upcoming meeting with the old blind man. However the tone takes a turn for the better as the main character talks, drinks, smokes, and ultimately draws with the old man during this eye opening experience. In Little Things and Why Don’t You Dance the author uses a similar tone, one that is sad. In each of the stories there is a divorce taking place in the household and they are in the middle of a separation.
The narrator disliked the idea of the blind man Robert coming over to his house. At the beginning of the story, he is being sarcastic about Robert because he is blind. As the story progresses the narrator begins to enjoy Robert’s company. Finally, at the end of the story he learns something from the experience with Robert. Through the narrator’s character, Raymond Carver is suggesting that an individual should always keep an open mind because one can learn something from an experience even when unexpected.
When the Narrator tried to explain a cathedral, he could not, but with the blind man leading him, he could and when Robert told him to open his eyes to see what he drew, the Narrator decides to trust Robert in the end. The Narrator thought, “My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything” (Carver, 13).
I connected the rape scene with the scene in which the narrator was taking the fat mans order. And discovered how closely it relates to each other. In both scenes, the characters are both struggling to have control over their actions, and we see this when the man apologizes for ordering too much food. The scene where the narrator is getting forced into sexual intercourse, she says “ I turn on my back and relax some, though it is against my will,” her action in this scene proves how she has no control of the situation that she is in. The main point of why the author decided to place these two scenes in the story is to show control.
By doing so, the audience experiences everything through the eyes of the narrator. The narrator, also being the story’s protagonist, attempts the attract the sympathy of the reader through his perspective of the exposition. For example, in the beginning of the short story, the narrator explains the blind man’s connection to his wife. It is during this phase of narrative that we get glimpses of a jealous undertone that will follow the narrator for the majority of the piece. This is first demonstrated on page 33 when he describes his wife’s ex-fiance: “Her officer—why should he have a name?
The story seems to avoid using complex vocabulary, but instead uses a combination of words in which a reader can infer hidden meanings. One place that a reader can pull a meaning out of is “the snow was melting” (Carver 1) as well as “where it was getting dark” (Carver 1). The diction in these segments is simple, but one can look at the contrast between the snow, which is white and pure, and dark, which is mysterious and possibly painful. The word choice in this piece help to achieve an aggressive, but still protective tone. The sentence structure is also simple and not well-formed, and
In the short story “They’re not your Husband”, Raymond Carver describes the society in the 20th century by emphasizing the relationship between the characters. Carver accentuates the problems of Modern Society, as for instance the intern competition of the better life between people, by portraying the characters with a heavy use of contrast. The main character has a function as a substitute for Humanity due to the fact that it lies in human nature to compare each other. Comparing works as a sophistication of the person in order to make the best out of the person. Even though comparing in some way can be seen as a good thing, Raymond Carver sees it as a bad thing because it ruins the social bonds, which is an essential requirement in order to climb the social ladder.
Mostly he gives chance to unreliable narrator to speak up. Therefore, readers could never see the story through transparent lens. As George narrates the story with a male biasness, and does not let a single chance to degrade his wife. The readers require to struggle with the story by reading between the lines to explore the hidden message of author. Sometimes he gives chance to a character to be his mouth piece and process his idea in a dialogue or through an action.