Diction in Raymond Carver's 'Everything Stuck To Him'

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The meaning of a story is either diminished or developed by the format it is written in. In Raymond Carver’s “Everything Stuck to Him”, the author tells the story of a man and his daughter, as well as a boy and a girl. Carver’s story is a frame story, in which the author writes one tale within another. The main story begins when he introduces a plot including the characters of an older man and his daughter. Then, the story within the original plot begins when the older man tells his daughter a narrative from when he and his wife were young and the girl was just a baby. The two stories are tied together by an overwhelming theme of change. Carver’s meticulous use of diction, symbolism, and a frame-style story impacts the special meaning of the short story.…show more content…
In his work, Carver chooses to employ a minimalist style of diction which forces the reader to become more involved in the story and make inferences. For instance, Carver does not name his main characters. He refers to them only as “the boy”, “the girl”, and “the baby”. This encourages the reader to infer that the characters are young and immature parents. This choice also allows readers to easily put themselves in the story, as the terms ‘“boy”, “girl”, and “baby” are far more universal than specific names. Another diction choice that supports the author’s goal of garnering readers’ attention comes at the end of the short story when the male character of the main plot tells his daughter, “Things change”. Although ‘things’ is a word commonly avoided by writers due to its vagueness, Carver uses it for exactly that reason. This diction choice forces the reader to once again make inferences about what the man means, and leaves the story open to each individual reader’s interpretation. Carver’s utilization of diction allows the reader to determine the meaning of the story for
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