Raymond Carver’s profile

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・5 Sources

On May 25, 1938, Raymond Carver, a prolific American short-story writer, was born. During the 1980s, Raymond revolutionized short story writing in the United States (Cornwell, 2005 p. 346). He is well-known for his imaginative writing of several short-story literary works, which have long been regarded as a favorite genre of literature. Raymond wrote a number of books, including All These Actual Miles, Little Things, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and The Cathedral, to name a few. In several of his novels, Raymond is known for discussing the most important topics of life (Cornwell, 2005 p. 350). More especially, he is best known for discussing on relationships covering themes of fidelity, appearance, trust, consumption, materialism, honesty, and symbolism.

Analysis of the Little Things

The main idea of the story is that of a troubled couple who are having a range of issues concerning their marriage. The central attention the author gives here is on family stability. The author portrays the characters not to be in good terms regarding on whom to take the child. They engage in a fight for the child whom at the end of the story falls. The author portrays the husband as not being concerned about the wellness of the child because he holds it tightly without minding injuring it. This portrays the picture of men in the society who are uninterested in caring about what happens to their children in case of an emergency. They rather serve their needs but disregard that of their children.
Raymond portrays the woman as disrespectful to her husband. When the wife arrives and finds her husband packing, she starts abusing him. The author is picking out the behaviour of wives disrespecting their husbands. The author shows a concern that the wife could use polite language in addressing her husband.
The author is also depicting family instability. The author starts the story by noting separation of the two. The language that the wife uses when she arrives and gets the husband packing his clothes implies that there had been a conflict between them that led to the decision of the husband to leave the house.
The author expresses elimination of gender superiority in the society. The position of the woman to be submissive in the society is depicted to be extinguished. The open confrontation between the two characters shows that the woman has evolved from her historical position in the family setting. Historically, women did not confront their husbands on major issues. They rather kept quiet on male domination. The author continues to show male superiority from the action of the husband to try snatching the baby from the wife.
The author exemplifies his high ability in captivating readers mind by using minimal narrations that are arranged using few words to express profound issues in the society.

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Analysis of the Cathedral

Raymond Carver creates an interesting short story whereby he uses first-person narration. The narrator gives a narration covering the brief historical life with his wife and further covers the invitation of the blind man, Robert to their house (carver, 2015). The author depicts important themes which the narration brings out. The author wrote the short story to inform his readers of the difference between seeing and looking, motifs and art as insight.;
The author symbolically uses the Cathedral to explain the misconception held by many people that through looking you can see the deep meaning of something. The narrator believes that he is superior to the blind Robert in every aspect of life. He confesses that he has no significant experience in relating to the blind (Carver, 2015). He says that the blind does not appreciate the primary issues in life like seeing the beauty of the wife and appreciating her. Regardless his blindness, Robert is capable to correctly guide the narrator into drawing the picture of his building and that of the Cathedral. There is an instance where Robert tells the narrator to close his eyes and continue to draw, and the narrator is amazed by the drawing even before opening his eyes. Thus, the author has used the Cathedral as symbolic to explain the difference between looking and seeing.
The narrator is depicted as a person with misconception on the life of blind people. The author uses the narrator's perception of the blind to correct the misconceptions that many people in the society have on the visually impaired people. The narrator is amazed at the high ability of the blind man in smoking an action that he never expected to be performed by a visually impaired person (Carver, 2015). The author also was amazed by the ability of the blind man in managing to trace his food on the dining table. The author points out that looking cannot necessarily help an individual to correctly see things and have a correct interpretation of an event, situation or object. The blind person is depicted to be having a far-reaching ability in performing many tasks better than those people with visual ability.
The author has also expressed the theme of artistic insight. Through drawing the picture on the Cathedral, the narrator gains new insight into his life (Carver, 2015). He received a deep understanding of his life through the outlines of the drawing that left him amazed. Robert too received insight from the drawing. The author depicts the evidence of the narrator's insight when the author retells the story on his newfound understanding. The narrator shows an awakening of thought and deep vision into understanding the crucial issues in life. The author is using the theme of art insight to improve the deep understanding of various issues that face his readers. Readers are thus called to develop the ability to see deep meaning of different major issues facing their lives. The narrator emphasizes the importance of art insights when he confirms that the narrator appreciates the works of his drawings even before opening his eyes.
The author has captivated the use of motifs in the story by embracing the use of drinks and smoking to give the story an interesting touch. The motif of drinking takes place almost throughout the narration. In the house of the narrator, conversations are followed by sips at every interval of emphasizing a point (Kleppe, 2006 p. 110). For instance, the blind man sips the drink and tells the narrator to look for a pen and a writing paper.
The author has also expressed the role of audiotapes in carrying the understanding of many issues without having their sight. The radio tapes that the narrator's wife and the blind man uses to communicate creates a high level of understanding their issues without necessarily having to have sight of the events. Communication between the two, Robert and the narrator's wife is highly enhanced through the use of the radio tapes. The author uses radio tapes to explain why individuals should not neglect the use of communication medium that is tailored to captivate understanding without having one to one communication.

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Analysis of the short story Are These Actual Miles

The author wanted to address two central themes that significantly impact the society. He has extensively shown the impact of bankruptcy and infidelity in the society. The author has shown the effects of insufficient funds by individuals in the community (Sklenicka, 2009). The modern society is significantly influenced by the low income that has led to families to separate due to failure to meet all their needs. Many families face the challenge of balancing family responsibilities and addressing the financial problems. Failure to meet their financial bills, Toni and Leo send their children to their parents to prevent the children from realizing their financial difficulties. The low financial capability of the family drives them into selling their vehicle to meet their needs. The author is addressing the level in which families are suffering due to the lack of enough funds to maintain their families.
The author has also highlighted the theme of infidelity in the society. Leo is noticed by his neighbour, Earnest Williams, bringing a woman to his house the night when his wife was out (Lehman, 2006 p. 75). The incident created fear in Leo in confronting his wife when she extends her visit in town until late in the night. The primary driving factor that encouraged Raymond to write on infidelity is because of the high case of family breakouts in the modern world.
The author has also embraced the theme of materialism. Leo is motivated by material gains to get into marriage with Toni. The main intention that prompted the author to address materialism is due to the increased cases of materialized marriages in the modern community.
There is also the theme of appearance. The author has highlighted the level to which women use beautifications to improve their appearance. For instance, Leo takes two hours in the mirror to beautify herself before going to town. The author was motivated to address the level in which women embrace their physical appearance. The relatively long time that women spend on the mirror improving their appearance should be used in engagement in activities that improve the economic value of the society.
Finally, the author has addressed women freedom in the society. Leo left the house alone for the town at night, an incident that was not accepted in the past. The author took the initiative of highlighting the retracted woman position in the society (Lehman, 2006 p. 78). Women have in the past been treated as non-equals of men in doing many things. Men believed that a married woman should not go to social places alone at night. The author came to correct that wrong perception because women can manage their activities the same way as men. The author has also used the incident to show how the men should relate to their wives. When Leo arrived from town and started to abuse him, he does not resort to the use of force. He instead helps her to get to bed and rest.

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The author has covered crucial factors that affect the community. His deep emphasis on relationships is intended to educate readers on the various issues that take place in marriages and relationships. The author has helped the reader to have a deep understanding of the crucial forces that defines humanity. 

Works cited

Carver, Raymond. Cathedral. Vintage, 2015.
Cornwell, Gareth. "Mediated desire and American disappointment in the stories of Raymond Carver." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 46.4 (2005): 344-356.
Kleppe, Sandra Lee. "Women and violence in the stories of Raymond Carver." Journal of the Short Story in English. Les Cahiers de la nouvelle 46 (2006): 107-127.
Lehman, Daniel W. "Symbolic significance in the stories of Raymond Carver." Journal of the Short Story in English. Les Cahiers de la nouvelle 46 (2006): 75-88.
Sklenicka, Carol. Raymond Carver: a writer's life. Simon and Schuster, 2009.

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