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Man and Wife by Chasie Kate and Why Dont You Dance by Raymond Carver - Essay Example

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In the essay “Man and Wife by Chase Kate and Why Don’t You Dance by Raymond Carver” the author contrasts and compares two short stories. Both of these stories focus on the themes of love and relationship and the message is conveyed by building up the story around a major character…
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Man and Wife by Chasie Kate and Why Dont You Dance by Raymond Carver
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"Man and Wife by Chasie Kate and Why Dont You Dance by Raymond Carver"

Download file to see previous pages Man and Wife: The story revolves around the arranged marriage of a nine-year-old girl with an aging wealthy man. The prospect of such a marriage is unnerving in our world but the story depicts this as if such a practice is normal and quite common. Such a practice is almost considered taboo in the western culture but Katie through her trite tone convinces the reader about the normality of the event. The story shows the other side of the common relationships like that of father and daughter and husband and wife. Katie, through her story, has asked some fundamental questions about love and relationships. Do the parents really love their child even when they are forcing her into an early marriage? “It’s all settled. Just signed the contract this afternoon.” This is the opinion that the father holds about his daughter’s marriage. “The dowry, like a child that would grow, was ultimately an investment I’ve begun to appreciate just how much work parents invest in their children, and wives in their husbands; it’s only fair for the investor to become a beneficiary.” Apparently, love appears to be materialistic in ‘Man and wife’. Middleton wants to marry because he feels Mary is the right choice of a wife for her. Her parents agree to the marriage without even asking for the consent of their daughter because they view matrimony as a business transaction. The marriage of the girl is considered just a normal business contract and she was getting married in exchange for the financial support which Mr. Middleton would provide to her parents. There seems to be conflict and dilemma surrounding the character of Mary Ellen. Then, on the other hand, Katie writes a story in such a way that the characters seem happy with their lives. Mary becomes an apprentice to his husband’s business and lives happily with him. She has an affectionate relationship with her parents as she herself states at the end, “I looked for something like greed or jealousy in his eyes, but found only love” The story shows the other perspective of child marriages which brings it in somewhat positive light (Chase). Why Don’t You Dance? : The story ‘Why don’t you dance’ by Raymond Carver focuses mainly on love and relationships. The lack of description in the story itself may be a pointer that mere words do not suffice in a relationship. Not much light has been shone on the separation between the man and his wife. The story itself employs silence to convey its meaning. The man is unnamed throughout the story and through ‘his side, her side’ we come to know that he is separated from her wife and now suffers from loneliness and desperation. Indirectly, Carver has indicated that the men remain restricted to their homes. Although the trio is sitting in the yard, the furniture and TV and an extension cord from inside the house represent their confinement inside the house. The story also shows a young couple who have come to the man’s yard hoping to buy the stuff he has thrown out. It is evident that the relationship between the two is strained when the boy refuses to kiss the girl and stays glued to the TV. The girl’s affection and the boy’s failure to reciprocate actually bear resemblance to the man’s previous relationship with his wife. Then there is no mention of the boy at the end of the story implying that their relationship has ended.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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