An Analysis On The Similarities And Differences In Raymond Carver's“A Small Good Thing” And “The Bath”

2771 words - 11 pages

In Raymond Carver's 'The Bath' and rewritten version of the story entitled 'A Small, Good Thing', the author tells the same tale in different ways, and to different ends, creating variegated experiences for the reader. Both stories have the same central plot and a majority of details remain the same, but the effects that the stories have upon the reader is significantly different. The greatest character difference is found in the role of the Baker, and his interaction with the other characters. The sparse details, language and sentence structure of 'The Bath' provide a sharp contrast emotionally and artistically to 'A Small Good Thing'. In many ways, 'The Bath' proves to have a more emotional impact because of all that it doesn't say; it's sparse, minimalist storytelling gives the impression of numbed shock and muted reactions. The descriptive storytelling of 'A Small Good Thing' goes deeper into the development of the characters and although it tells more story, it ends on a note of hopefulness, instead of fear or desperation. Each story has it's own magic that weave it's a powerful. When compared to each other the true masterpiece of each story is best revealed.
Both stories open with the same happy task; a mother is choosing a birthday cake for her son, Scotty. In 'The Bath' we are given details of appearance of the cake and a detailed description of the baker, but no real insight into the inner thoughts of the characters. In 'A Small Good Thing' we are treated to the mother's thoughts on the baker and her reflection on what commonalities they may have. She finds herself disliking the baker, “He made her feel uncomfortable, and she didn't like that...She gave up trying to make friends with him” (Carver ) In each version however, the reader is given an impression of an oddness about the baker, whether it is the subtleties in 'Bath' “he wore a curious apron...kept wiping his hands...as he listened to the woman, his wet eyes examining her lips” (Caver 920) or the view into the woman's impression of the baker, the reader is left with an impression of the baker as an unpleasant fellow.
The story quickly becomes dramatic. The morning of his birthday, Scotty is hit by a car on the way to school. The differences in these paragraphs are subtle, but worth examination. In both cases, Scotty is walking to school with his friend, eating chips, trying to determine what his pal is getting him for his birthday: an innocent moment of childhood. This moment is abruptly shattered by Scotty being hit by a car. Scotty's reaction to the accident remains the same. The stories differ here in there reactions of the other two people at the accident scene, the driver and Scotty's companion. In 'The Bath' the young friend of Scotty does not seem to fully understand what happened. He does not seem to be in shock like Scotty, just too young to understand his friend is hurt, “The other boy stood holding potato chips. He was wondering if he should finish the...

Find Another Essay On An Analysis on the Similarities and Differences in Raymond Carver's“A Small Good Thing” and “The Bath”

Lessons Learned. Comparing Raymond Carver's "The Catherdal" and "The Lesson"

1056 words - 4 pages At first glance, "The Cathedral" and "The Lesson" seem to have nothing in common, but the characters in these stories are both finding their identity and discovering themselves for the first time. Both of these characters seem very stubborn and hardheaded, but somebody finally gets through to them and their lives are changed forever.The story by Raymond Carver, "The Cathedral" is about a man overcoming his prejudice and accepting a blind man as

Essay on the revenge tragedy present in both The Lion King and Hamlet - similarities and differences

3578 words - 14 pages Hamlet and The Lion King: Shakespearean Influences on Modern EntertainmentThere is no doubt that today's entertainment has lost most of its touch with the more classical influences of its predecessors. However, in mid-1994, Walt Disney Pictures released what could arguably be the best-animated feature of all time in The Lion King. With a moral base unlike most of the movies released at the time, TLK placed a children's facade on a very serious

The Character of the Husband in Raymond Carver's Story Cathedral

1146 words - 5 pages The Character of the Husband in Raymond Carver's Story "Cathedral" In Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," the husband's view of blind men is changed when he encounters his wife's long time friend, Robert. His narrow minded views and prejudice thoughts of one stereotype are altered by a single experience he has with Robert. The husband is changed when he thinks he personally sees the blind man's world. Somehow, the blind man breaks through all

An Analysis on the Differences in Setting

860 words - 4 pages Setting has always been the number one thing to focus on in all stories beside characters and plot development. Yet, setting has a huge part in both of those things as well. Setting has such a wide variety of things writers could choose from which is why the reason so many people focus on it is. Every little detail read describes the setting or puts a vivid image in the reader’s mind which is really the main focus of writing. If the readers have

The Character Puzzle - Barry Hannah's "Water Liars," Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," and William Faulkner's "Barn Burning"

1900 words - 8 pages The Character PuzzleHuman growth is an extraordinary anomaly. Every individual has their own way. Yet, the journey to maturity is hardly ever taken on a road with no bumps or sudden twists. Each personality must suffer conflict. Then, they must learn and grow from this in order to go through the 'rites of passage'. The age people achieve this varies, and some never see the other side. For the ones that do cross the bridge, maturity doesn't

The Similarities and Differences of Marriage in the Abrahamic Religions

880 words - 4 pages play in the marriage. Conclusively, there are many differences and similarities that can be recognized when completing research on the topic of marriage with these three monogamous religions. Nevertheless, after completing a considerable amount of inquiry, I have personally concluded that marriage in terms of Islam is one I can connect with the most. Marriage in the Muslim faith is one that is extremely mutual. We see the wife and husband both

The Similarities and Differences of Marriage in the Abrahamic Religions

1591 words - 6 pages degrade her. This is very similar to Islam seeing as the man is supposed to serve as a protector to his wife. Unlike Islam, a Jewish man is allowed to use his wife’s income. However, if a woman develops an illness, her husband is expected to take care of her and make sure she goes back to good health; this is stated in the Talmud. In fact, the woman plays such a vital role that the man was to pay numerous expenses if anything were to happen to his

The Differences and Similarities Between Plays

759 words - 4 pages The Differences and Similarities Between Plays Plays express different plots, yet authors use similar writing methods to convey a particular point. For example, one play discusses serious matters, while another play has a comedic tone. However, both plays use physical movement to represent a character’s mood. Death Knocks, Fly, and Our Town are three very different plays with different themes yet these plays use a lot of similar writing styles

The Similarities and Differences of Body Types

600 words - 2 pages reached its highest point during my high school years. I have since lost a great deal of weight, but the impact it had on my personality all those years is forever stuck with me. In middle school I befriended another big guy, as well as a rather short, thin fellow. My big friend and I would often discuss how society was both directly and indirectly biased against fat people. An example of direct bias was how other people would treat us or talk to us

The Hitler Youth and Boy scouts - an investigation of the differences and similarities, and their origin

4104 words - 16 pages The Hitler Youth and Boy scouts- an investigation of the differences and similarities,and their originIntroductionIn 1939 Hitler said "Look at these young men and boys! What material! With them I can make a new world!" This gives an idea of what Hitler thought of the youth and what an important role the youth played in his politics. Hitler had wisely observed that the youth is the key to the future. Since they are so important, the youth

Comparison of "The Bath", by Raymond Carver and "Sea Oak", by George Saunders

955 words - 4 pages "The Bath", by Raymond Carver and "Sea Oak", by George Saunders share similar themes of family, love and loss, but are written differently in style, structure and language. When writing fiction, there are no restrictions to the approaches a writer can take. The different styles that authors use attract different readers. Although there are similarities in the themes in Sea Oak and "The Bath", there are obvious differences in the methods the

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Flannery O'connor's "A Good Man Is Hard To Find And Raymond Carver's "What We're Talking About When We Talk About Love

1317 words - 5 pages , that imbalance would never have occurred. On the other hand, some of the ideas explored in Raymond Carver's "What We're Talking About When We Talk About Love," might just be too big, too all-encompassing, too something, to every be truly understood. Here we have a quartet of characters, two married couples, sitting around a table, drinking (something Carver certainly knew too much about). They are all relatively intellectual people, some more

A Small Good Talk: Communication In Raymond Carver’s Stories

1438 words - 6 pages his mother but it is a step in the right direction of being able to communicate better. The narrator never completely changes his ways he attempts to though. He is left feeling dreary but not entirely hopeless. There is a progression of hope knowing that he tried to communicate with his mother they may in turn be able to build on that and strengthen there relationship together. In “A Small Good Thing,” its not verbal communication but rather

A Small, Good Thing A Short Story By Raymound Carver

2137 words - 9 pages to draw from when creating his characters, and he wove what he saw as the American’s best and worst qualities into stories, making them unmistakable in black and white. “A Small, Good Thing” begins the same way that “The Bath” did, on a Saturday afternoon. The reader is given an over-the-shoulder perspective of a mother picking out a birthday cake for her soon-to-be-eight-years-old son, Scotty, watching as she orders a space-themed cake from a

"Where Have You Been, Where Are You Going" By Oates And "A Small, Good Thing" By Raymand Caver

1086 words - 4 pages Comparison & Contrast of Short FictionAlthough there are many common grounds by comparing the two typical stories "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Oates and "A Small, Good Thing" by Raymond Carver, but each writer has its own purposes and points through the essences of their story to convey its readers in order to achieve their goal. As a product of middle class American descendants, this made Oates and Carver in common as a