The Darkness of Alcoholism in Raymond Carver Short Stories

The Darkness of Alcoholism in Raymond Carver Short Stories

“Drinking’s funny. When I look back on it, all of our important decisions have been figured out when we were drinking. Even when we talked about having to cut back on drinking, we’d be sitting at the kitchen table or out at the picnic table with a six-pack or whiskey.” ― Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

Reading “Why Don’t You Dance?” makes your brain explode, because of how little information is provided. This short story is written by Raymond Carver. He likes to let you create what is going to be next and in the story. There is no clear ending, and that is what I am talking about; he is letting you to make your own end and most of the time it will be unhappy end. The unknown will follow you everywhere in his short stories, everything is anonymous, and what I mean by everything is literally everything, from the purpose of the stories until concept of it. Even in the film “Everything must go” you will see some point that is hard to explain and lots of hidden hints.

In “Why Don’t you Dance,” the alcoholic husband is the main character he has such a bad life and you can see the darkness in his eyes from what he had done ‘which we don`t know what but we assuming that he had an affair’. In the first part of the short story started with him putting his stuff in the yard and trying to sell them. When he was coming from the market and holding his whiskey and beer, so he didn’t quit drinking: “The man came down the sidewalk with a sack from the market. He had sandwiches, beer, whiskey.” Then he looks at the girl and asked her if she likes the bed, and her boyfriend likes the TV. When they were trying to buy the stuff they choice such low prices and he didn’t ask for more,

“How about the TV?” the boy said.

“Twenty-five.”

“Would you take fifteen?” the girl said.

“Fifteen’s okay. I could take fifteen,” the man said.

, that is how desperate he is, accept any number even if they will get it by free I guess he won’t say no.

The bad hobby comes to the man and he let them drink with him “You kids, you’ll want a drink.” When they all got drunk we don’t know what happened and we just get that “The girl closed and then opened her eyes. She pushed her face into the man’s shoulder. She pulled the man closer.” Then Carver ended the story, so it has no clear beginning and no clear ending as always. It is hard to deliver the emotion by writing, but when it comes to the movie you will get it easily, so watching the film is making you feel how miserable his life.

Works Cited:

Why Don’t you Dance, Raymond Carver.

Everything Must Go, Movie.


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