The Short Story 'Popular Mechanics' By Raymond Carver

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In a perfect world, there would be no fights, arguments or disagreements that result in destruction and pain. Unfortunately, the world is full of constant battles that cause many relationships to fail. Divorce rates have skyrocketed over the past years and young families are slowly falling apart. Although each relationship is different, one of the main reasons that arguments occur is because of a lack of proper communication or hidden secrets. Either of these things can create chaos. Similarly, in the short story “Popular Mechanics” written by Raymond Carver, two individuals are in an obvious argument where the dialogue revolves around which parent should receive the custody of the child. The major theme that stands out in this short story …show more content…

The theme is represented through the use of diction, setting and characters, foreshadowing and an ambiguous ending. As the reader first starts to read “Popular Mechanics”, the story is very intense right off the bat and the readers can sense the “heated” situation just by paying attention to the dialogue and diction. The opening scene of the story starts with the mother repeatedly saying “I’m glad you're leaving...you can’t even look me in the face” to her husband as she watches him pack his suitcase (Carver 228). Clearly, there has been some argument between the two. The man has probably cheated or done something shameful causing him to not make eye contact with his partner. The wife is expressing her anger by attacking him with her choice of words. Instead of explaining the situation to the readers, she uses her words to convict her husband of something he has done. The reason why this is important to the theme is …show more content…

The first example of foreshadowing is when the author describes how the snow was “melting into dirty water” (Carver 228). The snow resembles the couple in how their relationship was once pure and clean, but has turned into something broken and dirty. The author chooses to incorporate this at the beginning of the story to hint that there is an arising conflict before the readers are even introduced to the characters. Another part of the story in which the author also uses foreshadowing an event is when the two couple are fighting and they “knock down a flower pot that hung behind the stove” (Carver 229). Although the couple may have not seen this as a big deal, it symbolizes the “broken” relationship that leads to an even more broken situation. This scene foreshadows that their argument will eventually end up hurting something or someone. Unfortunately, the flowerpot scene did foreshadow the end result of this

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