Themes in Raymond Carver's Literature

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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 the other side of the fence". They are dissatisfied with their own lives and look to the lives of their neighbors to find happiness in their own. Once a happy couple, they often feel that "they alone among their circle had been passed by somehow (13)." They did not discuss how they could change their own lives, but merely compared their lives with the Stones. "They talked about it sometimes,...
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