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"What's right and wrong is of no importance to Carver. He reflects the world as it is." Discuss.

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Kat Budd "What's right and wrong is of no importance to Carver. He reflects the world as it is." Discuss. Raymond Carver writes stories about real life situations and the people involved in them. These stories are not overly exciting or imaginative, but they do provide an insight of the mundane pattern of everyday life. Plain and simple situations are given unexpected twists without becoming unrealistic or unbelievable. "Tell the women we're going" is extremely unexpected and is in fact quite shocking when Jerry strikes the two girls with the rock. This is the effect Carver was trying to achieve- the shock of real life and that these things happen is perhaps a bit of a "wake-up call" for some people and this is probably one of the places Carver earned his "dirty realist" tag- from people who could not accept his frank reckoning of human life. Carver was not afraid to show the world as it is- unglamorous, strange and twisted. None of the stories are too extreme or melodramatic, but all are relate to the routine world of everyday life. He has an unbiased view on the world and is not trying to turn life into something it is not. ...read more.


He is simply describing real life, giving no indication of whether things like distrust, infidelity and anger are actually wrong. He lets the readers decide for themselves, as in "Tell the Women We're Going"- when Jerry hits the two girls with he rock, what he has done is blatantly wrong, but still no indication is given that it is. The most it ever comes to is: "Jerry used the same rock on both girls. First on the girl called Sharon and then on the one that was supposed to be Bill's." There is a slightly depressing tone, but I think only because the reader interprets it in that way. Carver cleverly uses his language to create a depressing and shocking image because the way he describes it is so matter-of-fact that what is about to happen is completely unpredictable, and still there is no actual proof that he has said that this is wrong. In "Jerry and Molly and Sam" the reader is naturally shocked when Al abandons the dog, giving the impression that Carver is pessimistic, but when you take a closer look, you realise that still he is giving us no impression of what is right. ...read more.


He wants people to relate it to themselves and stop trying to push away the bad things in their lives. Carver chooses controversial issues but never says they are wrong. He writes about things like infidelity and disloyalty but brings in the idea that maybe these things aren't wrong- just fraught with moral dilemma. Critics had different ideas about Carver's work. Some like it, some did not, and some over analysed it. Carver just wanted to paint a true picture of the world. David Bellamy called Carver "the most influential stylist since Donald Barthelme." Carver himself said "Somebody called me a 'minimalist' writer. But I didn't like it. There's something about 'minimalist' that smacks of smallness of vision and execution that I don't like." I suspect that some did not like it because they could not accept the gritty parts of life which perhaps they didn't want to see or admit to. People who enjoy his works probably are people who read his stories with an open mind and do not begin with the intention to judge. The above quotation shows just how much Carver disliked his stories to be judged or labeled. They are not something to be seen through or analysed- they are just stories, and like all stories, they contain right and wrong. ...read more.

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