In “A Small, Good Thing,” Carver constructs his tale around the Weiss couple: a wealthy, happy family that has been “kept away from any real harm” (Carver, 62). The Weiss couple is distinct from Carver’s typical characters in the fact that they are content and prosperous. However, their tragedy disproves that wealth and prosperity can protect one from fate. When a car strikes little Scotty on his birthday, their w...
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...ohnson’s characters, the hope is masked early in life by violence and chemical substances. Sometimes a simple glimpse of hope can suffice to animate the lost causes, vegetating in drugs or joyless lives. Carver’s characters angle obsessively towards the material promises of the American Dream, but find that the more qualifying abstractions do not come from a house or well-paying job. Despite all disappointments and hopelessness one must always find a beam of light that can shine even through the darkest world.
It is hard sometimes to talk and say what people really mean: either they are not skilled enough at being intimate with others, or they just feel they need to protect themselves. But in these stories there are other ways of communication. Even if the things done in stories seem to have no purpose, they help people in a very hard moment of their lives.
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