a man and a woman. While sounding simple enough, many aspects of the story such as the role
of “the baby” and the social standing of the couple remain very vague and are only hinted at
through the story. This makes the reading very emotionally intensive and open to interpretation.
At face value, the story is simply about a woman and a man fighting over a baby. However, it is
difficult to leave the story there. The ending remains extremely inconclusive, leaving the reader
with many questions. There are many themes present. The story could be interpreted as a story
about domestic abuse or perhaps serve as a warning to keep emotions in check. It could be a
story about human nature and the ingrown trait to be selfish. The story is filled with raw emotion
which is shown through the symbolism and character’s relationships with each other.
Right off the bat, Carver takes special care to slowly build the emotions between the two
characters. Which would be one of the best things about this specific short story, how well
emotions are portrayed instead of explained. It’s clear from the beginning that the nameless
woman in the story is the character who is more easily controlled by her emotions. From the start
she is crying and yelling. While her counter-part, the nameless man, is more calm and collected,
not quite consumed by his rage until further into the story. The argument, however, escalates
when the ‘baby’ is brought into the picture. It’s clear that whether the baby represents a literal
child or symbol for something else, it holds a significant importance to both the man and the
The baby is a huge part of the story. What is specifically in...
... middle of paper ...
...gree when the
baby is being fought over. And it heightens to a degree that the reader begins to fear for the
child’s life, which is not made any better by the ending. The couple, in letting themselves be
consumed in their rage, could have very well hurt or killed their own child. It is easy to frown
upon the two main characters and condemn the lack of care for their child, but that could be any
one of us. Humans tend to get carried away and let their emotions take control. This leads to
regret and can be avoided if checked and controlled.
In a whole, the story is eerie, saddening, and extremely interesting. It is well written and
heavy, clutching the reader’s interests and emotions. It penetrates through many levels of thought
and makes the reader think and analyze. The message is strong, the plot is deep, and the
characters are complex, especially for a short story.
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