Raymond Carver's A Small Good Thing

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United Through Death Death is inevitable, an ever-looming presence that often scares children and adults alike. Try as one might, no one can ever escape death 's embrace. Sometimes, lives are cut too short, as in the case of Scotty in Raymond Carver 's A Small, Good Thing, and other times, people yearn to die, like Eber in the Tenth of December by George Saunders. Death is always sad: the loss of a life, a family member, a friend. But as mournful as loss is, death can also be a blessing. No one wants to see their family member suffer from an illness that is bound to kill them in the end or have to suffer through it themselves. Authors like Carver and Saunders use death in fiction as a way to bring characters closer together. Both Carver and Saunders utilize death as a way to unify family members. After their child was "knocked down by a car" on his way to school, both Ann and Howard travelled to the hospital to see him (Carver 377). Ann notes as she waits for updates about Scotty 's condition that she was glad Howard "was there" and she "needed [him] all along" (Carver 384). Although her son was unresponsive, and she feared the worst, she was able to appreciate Howard 's presence and recognize that, even though the situation was dire, it was helping them to grow as husband and wife. "She felt glad to be his wife," something she did not perhaps realize until their child was hospitalized (Carver 384). Ann was not unhappy being Howard 's wife before, but death made her

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