An analysis of the stories and style of American short fiction writer Raymond Carver, using “Cathedral”, “Fat” and “A Small, Good Thing”.
In this paper the writing style of Raymond Carver is analyzed with reference to three of his stories. The essay examines both the structural and stylistic elements of Carver’s work and seeks to find the exact essence of what makes Carvers stories and writing technique so distinct.
The short story is a literary form that lends itself to the theme of change, as characters within these stories coming to terms with the nature and consequence of change can offer not only a vast source of inspiration, but also the necessary closure and resolution that is often so difficult to find in the creation of short fiction. Towards the latter end of his writing career Raymond Carver became especially fond and equally masterful at weaving short tales about changes that occur in everyday life. This motif can be clearly seen in his stories Fat, A Small, Good Thing and Cathedral. Whilst the characters and situations described within these three stories vary greatly: from a husband, to a baker, to a waitress in a restaurant, there are usually basic devices and character types that Carver implements throughout the course of his writing.