On the surface, the story of A Small, Good Thing is simple and universal. Thirty-three-year-old Ann Weiss orders a cake for her son's Scotty's eighth birthday and is a little put off by the baker's cold attitude - "(he) was not jolly. There were no pleasantries between them, just the minimum exchange of words, the necessary information." However, she soo...
... middle of paper ...
...- emotional yet not melodramatic; sparsely written yet still complex; a human story which explores the arbitrary nature of fate. The writing style is fresh and invigorating; the characters well-drawn, the narrative driving, the themes thought-provoking. While some readers are likely to be frustrated by the limited exposition and the abruptness of the actions, most could be expected to find it well worth their attention. A Small, Good Thing has become a minimalist classic, and a close reading should clearly demonstrate why Carver is regarded as one of the strongest short-story writers in recent times.
Clarke, Graham. "Investing the Glimpse: Raymond Carver and the Syntax of Silence." The New American Writing: Essays on American Literature Since 1970. Ed. Graham Clarke. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. 99-122.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Raymond Carver's A Small Good Thing Raymond Carver's "A Small Good Thing," a short story that has to do with the lack of interaction and empathy between the baker, Ann and Howard, the finale where the baker is startled to find out about the child's death, asks for mercy and presents them warm cinnamon rolls telling them that "Eating is a small, good thing in a time like this" and they are comforted, reveals particular significance of the title in terms of the story's theme. Also, Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," a story that starts with an ignorant and rude narrator whose wife has called a blind friend to spend the night at their home and according to Carver, "A blind man in my house was not... [tags: Comparative Literature Carver Small Good Essays]
854 words (2.4 pages)
- In a “Small, Good Thing” written by Raymond Carver, a family is faced with a horrific tragedy. The secondary character, the baker, is also faced with loneliness. Both the Weiss family and the baker feel that they are in helpless situations. We see in today’s society many people are facing the same feeling of helplessness. However, when dealing with life changing ordeals, ae we helpless or powerless. In our society these two words mean the same thing. However, according to the article “English Language and Usage” they are completely different.... [tags: Drug addiction, Addiction, Question, Feeling]
1422 words (4.1 pages)
- A formalist perspective focuses on important elements to a story like plot, theme, symbol, characterization, and metaphor. “A Small, Good Thing” is an interesting story that you can understand the main points, but goes into more detail when analyzed. This story has an important plot, theme, and symbols behind it that actually make the story what it is. The author Raymond Carver exposes the reader to feel connected with the story because it can relate to all of our lives. Isolation and collectedness is an important theme throughout the whole story.... [tags: Connectedness, Tragedy, Loneliness]
655 words (1.9 pages)
An Analysis on the Similarities and Differences in Raymond Carver's“A Small Good Thing” and “The Bath”
- In Raymond Carver's 'The Bath' and rewritten version of the story entitled 'A Small, Good Thing', the author tells the same tale in different ways, and to different ends, creating variegated experiences for the reader. Both stories have the same central plot and a majority of details remain the same, but the effects that the stories have upon the reader is significantly different. The greatest character difference is found in the role of the Baker, and his interaction with the other characters.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
2726 words (7.8 pages)
- A Small Good Talk: Communication in Raymond Carver’s Stories Raymond Carver’s characters are the normal average blue collared workingman. They lead a normal life, just simply going through the motions of everyday life. There is nothing special about each of Carver’s characters they mindlessly go through life without any drive. Carver’s characters communication play a huge part in forming their existence. Communication in Carver’s characters are emphasized in “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” “Boxes,” and “A Small Good Thing.” These stories show the results of the characters communication, and show how it directly impacts their lives.... [tags: true love, struggles, boxes]
1215 words (3.5 pages)
- Cathedral: A Lesson for the Ages Raymond Carver’s short story, “Cathedral,” portrays a story in which many in today’s society can relate. We are introduced from the first sentence of the story to a man that seems to be perturbed and agitated. As readers, we are initially unsure to the reasoning’s behind the man’s discomfort. The man, who seems to be a direct portrayal of Raymond Carver himself, shows his ignorance by stereotyping a blind man by the name of Robert, who has come to stay with he and his wife.... [tags: Raymond Carver]
1102 words (3.1 pages)
- Ingrained within the American identity is a restless spirit that is never content to be defined by the same terms for too long. Yet the things Americans value remain the same, evidenced by the titles they strive so hard to attain—husband, wife, mother, father. These titles represent who Americans are as much as what they are. They are the roles that give Americans purpose and meaning. The defining aspect of Raymond Carver's short story, “A Small, Good Thing,” is the fact that its characters are undeniably American.... [tags: blue-collar american, sorrow, mind set]
1685 words (4.8 pages)
- Through the Eyes of the Blind in Cathedral by Raymond Carver You can never seem to know what's going on in another ones life, unless you put your feet in there shoes, so to judge, is simply ignorance. Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" is a story about how the narrator is uncomfortable with having his wife's blind friend, Robert, over. Roger has lost his wife, and to cope with her death, he planned to visit the narrator's wife. Without any knowledge whatsoever on how to act in accompany towards a blind man, the narrator seems to get a glimpse of what it is to truly fit into the blind mans shoe. The narrator starts his story very unenthusiastic about Roger's visit.... [tags: Raymond Carver Cathedral]
909 words (2.6 pages)
- Alcohol Viewed Through the Eyes of Raymond Carver Some people feel that alcohol is a substance that can be used to escape reality and live in a world where there are no dilemmas or problems that must be solved. Whether the alcohol is abused or just used in moderation, many people are drawn to the several aspects it has to offer. One example of someone who follows these characteristics is the very famous and talented writer, Raymond Carver. Raymond’s use of alcohol is clearly displayed not only through his writings, but in his daily lifestyle.... [tags: Drinking Alcohol Alcoholism Carver Author essays]
744 words (2.1 pages)
- Themes in Raymond Carver's Literature In Short Cuts, by Raymond Carver, characters experience trials and problems in their lives, whether extreme such as in " A Small, Good Thing" and "Lemonade" or nominal such as in " Vitamins". They all seem to depict these struggles as uphill battles which the characters cannot and mostly do not overcome. The characters throughout Carver's "Short Cuts" struggle through their lives in private desperation, often to ultimately realize that they are bound to the truth of who they really are, which is shown in the story "Neighbors." In "Neighbors", Bill and Arlene Miller are a couple with menial jobs who give credence to the saying "the grass is greener on... [tags: Papers Carver Short Cuts Essays]
747 words (2.1 pages)