Essay Title: 

Women`s rights

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american literature, literature and language





Popular Mechanics : The Bare Essentials

Aside from centering on some sort of conflict , traditional stories have also used detailed s of physical appearances , personalities inner thoughts and settings to convey their message . The classic short story Popular Mechanics ‘ by Raymond Carver is an eerie look into the heart of a domestic dispute that does not make use of any of these techniques . Instead , the author strips away everything but the bare essentials to present his look at what happens to a family when parents [banner_entry_middle]

fight and neither is willing to give in

One of the most amazing things about this story is its modest two page length . The ability to tell a story that people will remember in such a short space is quite unique . In to be able to do this , Raymond Carver establishes the setting of his piece using a few descriptive details , and leaves the rest to be created in the mind of the reader Describing the filthy melting snow , the author says Streaks of it ran down from the little shoulder-high window that faced the backyard With this one short sentence , the reader understands that the story will take place inside a house . The reader does not know , and never finds out , what city or country the house is in , how big or small the house is , or if the neighborhood is good or bad . The author seems to suggest that these specifics about the setting are unimportant – he wants the home to be universal so readers can fill in the details and connect more with the story

In the next paragraph he moves the story to a more specific location – the bedroom – and this is where the action begins . Saying that the woman stood in the doorway of the kitchen gives the impression that she is attempt to be strong and defend herself and her home , including her child . From this point on , the only attention the author pays to setting is to simply mention what room the action takes place in Because of the intense drama and action being conveyed through the dialogue , stopping to describe the color of the sofa or the curtains might take away from the impact of the story . Instead , the author uses something like Then he went out to the living room ‘ and he takes for granted that his readers understand what a typical living room looks like and lets the specifics fall to the wayside . In a way , his plain approach to setting delivers the unspoken message that people and families , no matter where they are or how they live , are very much the same

In the same way that Raymond Carver does not spell out specific setting details , he also does not spell out a specific theme . The author chooses to focus on one short blip in time , and cuts out the traditional introduction and resolution . This leaves the readers to decide for themselves what the theme or moral of the story might be

Though Carver does not spell out a theme , it is fairly obvious his story is a comment on the insanity of domestic disputes and relationships gone bad . More to the point , it seems to be a comment on how these domestic disputes hurt children . He quickly sets the mood of the story representing the feelings of a relationship gone bad with his imagery of dirty melting snow . Additionally , he tells us it was getting dark on the inside too ‘ This obviously not only refers to physical darkness inside a physical house , but also emotional darkness inside the family

The author uses the photo of the child to cause tension in the reader and foreshadow the events to come . This turns the focus of the story quickly from a man and a woman to the child that will be affected by their actions . Again , Carver does not feed these ideas to the reader but simply states the facts and moves on , allowing the reader to feel the emotion in the story . After the man sees the woman ‘s reaction to the photo , his desire is focused on the child . It becomes the prize in a battle between the two adults , who focus their argument on who will ultimately walk away with the child . The child is spoken of as though he is simply another item to be packed into the suitcase

By the end of the story , the author has worked his reader into an extremely uncomfortable state . He takes things over the edge with his final lines in which we are left with the horrible image of two grown adults each pulling full force on the arms of a small baby . Even worse we are left with a short , sarcastic sounding final phrase that leaves us picturing the absolute worst fate for the baby . We are told that however the exact details of this quarrel turned out , it did have a resolution . Through its use of emotion , the story tells us that even if the baby was not physically harmed in the fight , he was at least emotionally harmed by the terrible actions of the parents and the family unit was damaged forever . This short but powerful story can be used as a warning message and a reminder to take a step back at consider the consequences of our actions


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