Where I 'm Calling From By Raymond Carver Essay

Where I 'm Calling From By Raymond Carver Essay

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“Where I’m Calling From” was one of the many short stories written by Raymond Carver in 1983. Many of Carver’s works have a common theme of alcohol. In “Where I’m Calling From,” the unnamed narrator struggled a lot with alcohol, and he had to be dragged down to the rehabilitation facility by his wife and girlfriend on two different occasions. The story opens with the unnamed narrator sitting on the porch of the rehabilitation facility along with J.P., another alcoholic that was also dragged down to the rehabilitation facility twice, once by his wife, and the other by his father-in-law and brother-in-law. The narrator is separated from his wife, and for some reason distant from his girlfriend. J.P., on the other hand, had everything he wanted, everything was going on well and he was happy. J.P. drinking picks up, he lost his job and starts getting into fights with his wife. During the entire journey at Frank Martin’s, Carver shows the timeless themes of the struggle people face with alcohol. He also used alcohol as a truth serum in his stories, and as a ritual of bringing people together. In “Where I’m Calling From,” Carver uses both the characters of the narrator and Joe Penny to demonstrate all of the mankind’s battles with alcohol. It also represents the life of an alcoholic, which shows us the pain, failure, and broken promises due to alcoholism.
For the reader of “Where I’m Calling From” to fully understand the story, he or she needs to understand and know the stages of alcohol. The first stage of alcohol is early and this stage is when there is a general experimentation with alcohol (Champion 239). Joe Penny’s life changed when he started drinking and also when his drinking escalated. J.P got married to Roxy, had children, ...


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...s constantly reminded throughout the story of his personal adventures. This is a good step to recovery because it shows that the narrator is reaching a very good step in his recovery “ladder.” The setting of the time is the end-of-year holidays and this is a period in the years’ cycle often associated with family, with a reunion, and with reminders of time itself (Robert 51).
The narrator’s journey began with the description of Joe Penny, Frank Martin, Jack London, and the rest of the alcoholics that are in the rehabilitation facility. The narrator then goes on to recall his first and second entrance into Frank Martin’s and reveals his most recent entrance, his second entrance. His first wife brought him to the rehabilotation facility but he left, and six months later, his girlfriend brought him to the rehabilitation facility again for the second time (Carver 526).

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