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Through close analysis of its content and style, show how "Fat" may be considered a typical Raymond Carver short story.

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Introduction

Through close analysis of its content and style, show how "Fat" may be considered a typical Raymond Carver short story The story "Fat" is one which is both thought provoking and insightful. It is written in very simple language but the actual core of the story is a lot more complex than it appears on the surface. It is about a woman who works in a diner- the narrator- who is reasonably happy and stable in her life and relationship with her boyfriend, Rudy, until her life is oddly changed by the simple act of an extremely overweight man coming into the diner. She intrigued by him and cannot help scrutinising everything he does, watching him intently, especially his fingers. The fact that he is full of compliments aimed towards her makes her feel proud and pleased, mainly because her ignorant boyfriend is both insensitive and crude. This causes her to question her current position in life and whether it will change. ...read more.

Middle

The whole situation throws her off course- "What would happen if I had children and one of them turned out to look like that, so fat." "She sits there, her dainty fingers poking her. Waiting for what? I'd like to know." These show just how confused she is, and this is true of many of the stories shown where the characters are portrayed as low class, slaving away in hard-working low-paid jobs. Many of them are unhappy and are simply hiding from the truth. The epiphany in "Fat" is similar to other stories by Raymond Carver, such as "Neighbors". It only takes a visit to next door's apartment for Bill and Arlene to realise how routine and empty their relationship has become, and they rekindle their love for one another after this. The narrator in this story focuses on herself wondering and worrying about what might and will happen. This is yet another trait of Raymond Carver- to give others an insight into how other people live, the things they worry about the way their minds work. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even the narrator speaks simply and without complication, and this is noticeable in all of Carver's stories. The end or the story is not a definite closure, but as with other Carver stories, the reader is not really expected to spend time considering what might or might not have happened, but the moral meanings and sometimes shocking events of the stories, and of what significance it has to one's self. A defined and spoon-fed ending is not needed to create the atmosphere that this open but striking ending creates. "Fat" is a story typical of Raymond Carver, his characters, settings, and style of writing. The main character focuses on herself, her relationship, friends and surroundings and goes through an emotional realisation that she is not happy in them. She feels her life is going to change but seems reluctant to accept it. The crude language used and the frustration of the main character is reminiscent of so much of his writing that this story is of course, typical of him. WC 1014 ...read more.

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