Reading The Paper By Ron Carlson Summary

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In his short story “Reading the Paper”, Ron Carlson uses the technique of switching between a normal morning routine and unexpected tragedies to show that the story is truly about reading the paper. After completing some of their morning tasks, such as doing the wash or getting timmy ready for school, the narrator hears someone knock on the back door. When the narrator opens up the door and sees a guy who had just escaped from prison, the escaped prisoner asks “if he can come in and rape [them] and cut [them] up a little bit”(1). Instead of being affected by this at all, the narrator then says, “after he does that, my coffee’s cold, so I pour a new cup”(1). This switch between experiencing a horrible event and continuing their morning routine of getting coffee isn’t normal. …show more content…

When reading the paper, a story can intrigue you so much that you don’t pay attention to anything else until you finish. This is how the coffee got cold, the narrator was totally immersed in the story about the escaped convict that he didn’t stop to drink his coffee. Reading the newspaper is a common thing to do in the morning, and it allows us to feel as if we are experiencing a tragedy, but never fully takes us away from continuing our morning routine. In John Cheever’s piece “The Enormous Radio”, he utilizes the symbol of Jim and Irene’s old radio to represent the status of their marriage. This parallel is reflected by the author’s description of the radio in which the author describes it as being “sensitive, unpredictable, and beyond

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