Raymond Carver Literary Elements

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The three short stories I am going to compare and contrast are by Raymond Carver; they are Cathedral, Little Things, and Why Don’t You Dance. In these stories Raymond Carver uses several literary elements to bring the works to life. The elements I am going to discuss are setting, tone, theme, plot, and point of view. The first element I am going to discuss is the setting. In each of Carver’s short stories he produces a setting which is consistent to each subjective story. In the story Cathedral the setting is a middle class home located in New York during the 1980’s. The setting is particularly important because the story does not actually take place at a Cathedral, but it ultimately becomes perhaps the most essential part of the story. In…show more content…
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 tone in Little Things is very serious however and there is physical confrontation between the husband and wife about who gets to keep the baby whereas in Why Don’t You Dance the tone is not as serious and the main character seems to not really care what happens to his belongings. All of these stories include a tone which helps the reader understand the feelings of the main character and the tone even includes a foreshadowing…show more content…
In each of these stories the story is told from the main character’s point of view; each story has a man as the main character and in Little Things and Why Don’t You Dance the point of view is given from a man who is going through a divorce and the two points of view are profoundly contrasting. The man in Little Things is clinging to what he believes to be his and has packed up all of his things, where the man in Why Don’t You Dance still has most of the things in the house the way she left them and could care less about what belonged to him. In Cathedral, Carver gives the point of view of the husband who is expecting a boring old man to come over and waste his time, but obviously just the opposite happens. The point of view is important in all of the stories because it conveys makes the situations much more real and it show the thoughts of the men who are experiencing the things that they
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