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Ann's Reconciliation with the Inevitable Presence of Death: An Immature Believer's Attainment of Maturity - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Ann’s Reconciliation with the Inevitable Presence of Death: An Immature Believer’s Attainment of Maturity Though on the surface level Raymond Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing” tells the story of compassion and reconciliation among the central characters and generally among people, an in-depth analysis will necessarily reveal that it is the story about an individual’s reconciliation with his or her existential angst and reality of death and adversaries of life…
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Ann's Reconciliation with the Inevitable Presence of Death: An Immature Believer's Attainment of Maturity

Download file to see previous pages... Ann’s innocent son meets an accident and dies after three days; her prayer goes unheard. Obviously Carver’s portrayal of such a world does not necessarily mean that there is no god or that religion is as futile as Ann’s unheard prayer. Rather the story can be viewed as an immature believer’s achievement of maturity that belief in life as well as death is a part of one’s faith. Carver’s use of religious symbolisms such as Ann’s thirty three age, Scotty’s death on the third day, etc rather refers to this greater truth and praying and believing do not necessarily mean that they will heard by each time. The story depicts a bleak and gloomy world where prayers are unheard; where the Heavenly father does not save a dying boy; where life is affected with diseases, death and other cruelty of fates. In the beginning of the story, Ann is supposedly a stranger before her son Scotty’s death. She possesses a good husband, a lovely child and a happy family. In this bleak world, she cannot build a bond with what is lowly, coarse and dark, because she is far away from these adversaries and darks of life. Also she cannot even think of bonding a relationship with those who are affected with them. The baker was “abrupt with her-not rude, just abrupt. She gave up trying to make friends with him.” (Carver 2) This is where Ann’s shrinkage from the adversaries of life begins. She starts to shrink from the presence of the person like the baker; then she experiences death’s inevitable encroachment of death towards her son Scotty and endeavors to refuse the presence of death in life. But gradually she succumbs to the knowledge that death is a reality in her life as it is in others’ lives. Thus her reconciliation with the gloomy presence death begins with her effort to communicate with the Negro family in the hospital and finally it reaches its full phase through granting the baker’s offer to eat something at the end of the story. Ann cannot successfully communicate with the baker, who has no children and who is old enough to experience these adversaries of the world, as the narrator of Carver’s story says, “The baker was not jolly. There were no pleasantries between them, just the minimum exchange of words, the necessary information. He made her feel uncomfortable, and she didn’t like that” (Carver 2). The baker appears to be less responsive to Ann’s fancy of styling the cake in a starship pattern. This irresponsiveness is rather the baker’s calmness and composed attitude to his customers’ convulsive instruction for decorating their children’s cake and celebrating their birthday party. Indeed this distance between Ann and the baker evolves from the difference between their experiences about life. But this distance is much narrowed by her experience about her son’s accident and subsequent death. Her horror about the presence of encroaching death is multiplied by Dr. Francis’s sincere optimism. Depending on Dr. Francis’s continual assurance she tries to retreat from the reality of death. But when Scotty died failing her prayer and the doctor’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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