Premium Harmony Short Story

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Isolation vs. Considering Perspectives
Selfishness and isolationism can make up a recipe for indifference. In the short story “Premium Harmony” by Stephen King, the story focuses on a poor, unhappy, middle-aged married couple, Ray and Mary. Ray and Mary lived a happy marriage for almost ten years, however, in the story they constantly argue. In the beginning they argue over which place they are to buy a gift for Mary’s niece, then as it progresses they admonish each other for their addictions; Ray, his smoking, and Mary, her obsession with junk food. The couple talks much, but listens little to each other. Ray disregards his wife and her wants while prioritizing his own wants. Mary unexpectedly dies and the story ends with Ray acting like her death means freedom for him to smoke and do whatever he wants which is essentially smoking away his problems. In a similarly mundane short story, “Cathedral” by Ray Carver, a judgmental man with no name is the narrator. The nameless wife of this narrator excitedly invites a blind man, Robert, to stay with them. The narrator is unhappy with this. Unwilling to open his home to the blind man, the narrator wants to stay in his own selfish bubble and neglect any outside perspectives. In the beginning the narrator is very closed off and self-absorbed and allows his wife to do all of the talking. They eat, drink, watch TV and smoke dope. Only after many hours does the narrator concede to having a developed conversation with Robert, and his
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