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An Analysis Of The Ending Of Raymond Carver’s Text Everything Stuck To Him

1312 words - 6 pages

“They were kids themselves, but they were crazy in love, this eighteen-year-old boy and this seventeen year old girl when they married.” (Stuck, 1327) Everything Stuck to Him by Raymond Carver was just one short story in a very popular collection entitled, What We Talk about When We Talk about Love. The story begins in Italy with a young girl asking her father to tell her a story about her childhood. He responds by telling her of what his young life was like with her mother. This text explores the themes of responsibility, maturity, commitment, choices, and above all, unity. Carver utilizes this frame narrative to explore a vast world of change, ending on a note that often leaves readers ...view middle of the document...

This same lack of commitment is also shown when the father admits that he is a little bit in love with both of his wife’s sisters, showing that he has yet to fully accept his responsibility as a husband and a father. However, it does not stay this way the whole time. In the present, the girl’s father has finished his story, and the daughter asks him if they are still going into town. He immediately responds that he will go with her, proving that he is still there for her. He had made the decision to stick with his child, and that proves the improvement made. “Then she raises her head. Speaking brightly, she asks if he is going to show her the city, after all. He says, Put your boots on and let’s go.” (Stuck, 1331) Throughout the course of this text, the father makes almost a complete shift in his mood and feeling toward his family. He goes from being standoffish and unsure to being very committed toward his daughter, something that Carver is sure to emphasize repeatedly.
A simple way to analyze the ending of Carver’s text is to find out what aspects lead the text to be perceived as one with an unhappy ending. There is no doubting that this text does in fact possess aspects that lead to it being perceived as a text of sorrow rather than one of success and happiness. Of the events of this nature described within this text, the most prominent one is perhaps the underlying level of commitment that the father has to his wife, an uncertainty that follows him through almost the entire course of the text. The most prominent moment that this uncertainty exists is when he leaves to his car, proving that he did in fact have a moment where he thought about leaving his family. “You heard what I said, the girl said. If you want a family, you’re going to have to choose. They stared at each other. Then the boy took up his hunting gear and went outside.” (Stuck, 1330) The truth of the matter is that even when he makes the decision to return, this uncertainty is never really addressed. Plus, in the end, there is really no mention of the mother or how his relationship actually developed with her. Therefore, this uncertainty is something that causes most readers to feel as though there are unresolved issues, causing the text to appear as though it is one of sorrow, very far from success.
For every instance of failure that exists in this text, there is a mirroring example of success, offering an interpretation that suggests that this text is in fact one that possesses a happy ending. This text very clearly tells the story of a man that makes the decision to accept...

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