So much water so close at home is an engrossing story that was written by Raymond Carver. It highlights the different characters that exist between me and women in the social context of the American culture. For instance, it indicates that men bear the highest responsibility for the death of women. The writer interestingly brings out the men as the less concerned people on what they do to their female counterparts. It is through caver’s work that men and women differ in different issues and how they react to them in life. To be precise, it is evident that men and women differ in judgment, morality and perception. Despite the fact, that these two disagree in certain matters they have one common aspect. This is the need to communicate with each other . This discussion majors on different stylistic devices that were employed by the writer to bring out his arguments as he observed in the American culture during his life.
Violence against women
In Raymond’s work, it is evident that women are treated brutally by their male counterparts. This brutal experience is seen when four men go for their trip, which involved fishing, and playing cards among others. Before constructing tends, they realize that there was a body in the river just a few miles away from their car. On examining the body, they found out it was a lady who suspected was murdered after she was raped. They never consider reporting the case to the local authority until when they completed their activities. On the other side of the coin, the constant fight between Clair and Stuart reveals how women are abused sexually by their husbands in their family. Stuart represents men in the American culture who are never sexually satisfied. He wants to have sex all the time he is at home. In some occasions, his wife submits and resists other times when she feels that it was not necessary.
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Strategies employed by Raymond
To bring out the theme on women’s violence Raymond has used varied different stylistic devices. First imagery is vastly used. It gives the reader the real picture of what happened through creating of visions in the minds of the reader. The story “so much water so close at home” gives the reader various images throughout the story. This images in the reader’s brain show how women are subjected to ill treatment by male people.
The naked female body found in the river by the fishermen creates the situation that picture of a human body that lay in water. At this time, the four men move together for a discussion then the others begin scribbling in the sand. From the book, this extract gives evidence of one of the scenes that bring out imagery.
“They saw the body of the girl before they made up their mind to set up camp. Mel Dorn found her. Her body had no clothes at all. She was wedged into some branches that stuck out over the water. He called the others and they came to look. They talked about what to do. One of the men-my Stuart didn’t say which-said they should start back at once. The others stirred the sand with their shoes, said they didn’t feel inclined that way. They pleaded fatigue, the late hour, the fact that the girl wasn’t going anywhere.”
Juxtaposition is another strategy that was used by Raymond to figure out the main differences between male and female characters in his story. It brings two situations that are connected to one way or the other but hey may show contradiction. The men’s characters are contrary to those of women in so much water so close at home. In this case juxtaposition is proved from the inability for the fishermen to respond effectively when they find the dead woman in the river. Another example is the emotional reaction of Claire when she gets the information from Stuart her husband. The men continued fishing just near the corpse without reporting to Sheriff until they had completed their activities on Sunday afternoon. This indicates that men never care about other people’s needs. They think of themselves only. More so when Stuart gets at home he never tells his wife about it. In fact, it is from the writer’s point of view that the husband was eager for only two things, sex and sleep.
On the other side, Claire feels furious about women murder in the society. She sent the utensils on the flow expecting some reaction from her husband. She does this because she is fade up with the men’s characters. They rape women, they brutally treat their wives, they never respond to the welfare of women and most disturbing they kill them and throw their bodies in the nearby river. The main point in this respect is that women are actually exposed to violence be it in the family or out of family. Men are the key members that cause humiliation to women.
Throughout the story, the writer gave the main character the ability to narrate her side of the story in most circumstances.
The writer included narration as one of his finest stylistic devices. He enables the characters to explain their feelings on their own. The writer gives the main characters the ability to use both the first person narration and the second person narration so as to help bring out the issues in the American culture. For instance Clair says
“Despite everything, knowing all that may be in the store, I rake my arm across the drainboard and send the dishes and glasses smashing and scattering across the floor ”
It is evident that the lady was angry and communication had failed. This act intended to send a message to the husband so that he could speak something but due to his ignorance he just kept quiet. Stuart pretends to have not heard anything because he did not want to engage his wife in matters involving the dead woman. When there is a communication breakdown in the house women can do anything to pass their message to the spouse.
In another context, Clair narrates the story of the girl who was killed by Maddox brothers and thrown in the river. Since men are never concerned with other people’s welfare, it actually made Stuart terribly angry prompting him to cut her off. In response, Clair got angrier then lost control and slapped her husband. The husband never forgave her. He beat her thoroughly due to misconduct that she had shown. Throughout this fight, it can be identified that there is a communication breakdown in the house. It is in this style that the writer gives his point of view that there is that needed to communicate in the house between the husband and the woman. When the communication fails then many problems may not be solved amicably. It also depicts women as people who take responsibility of what they do. This is proved when Clair regrets after slapping her husband. The first person narration is applied creatively indicate the internal thought that exist in the story.
Third person narration is also featured by the writer. In the story, the writer shifts from first person narration to a third person narration. For example, “there was a girl who had a father and a mother…..” in this part the writer strategically brings out how Clair was brought up in her early life the goes ahead to meet Stuart who is much stubborn in the family life. The third person narration is used by the writer to give his views on what occurred when the men went for fishing. For instance, the four men including the character’s wife made the trend after they had seen the body in the water. They also cleaned utensils in the same river that had the dead body.
Description is applied by the writer in explaining vividly on how the instances unfolded from the first one up to the last. Through this style, Clair describes how her husband was eating, chewing food and looking at her. In this style, it is evident that the husband had already done a mistake and the wife was trying to watch on him suspiciously. The writer is able to give his view on what the five men did during their fishing trip. It is through this style that the writer creatively brings out men’s character. They played cards until they were unable to see. They divided into two groups upstream and downstream as they carried out fishing activities in the same river that had the dead body. This is much contrary to the human expectation. Description is mostly employed by the writer to develop the central theme of ignorance in male characters in the story so much water so close at home.
The story so much water so close at home gives the picture that men in the American culture are brutally treating their female counterparts. They are also mean and self-centered. They never mind of other people’s affairs. Men rape and kill the women without being noticed. When the fishermen find the dead woman in the river they seem to be less concerned and fail to report to the relevant authority. This is well contrasted of what a man is supposed to be in a family. A real man should protect his wife against any form of brutality and serve as a source of comfort to a woman. It is also from the writer that women are victims of circumstances in the story. Clair grew up well with her parents then comes all along to find a man who never cares about her social needs.
Women in the story need to be supported fully. They have no body to turn to for help. The men who are supposed to be the protectors turn against them and brutally treat them. They suffer a lot at the hands of men. The writer creatively uses different styles to bring out the contemporary issues affecting the American culture. In the whole story, the man is the cause of all the evil that befall the women. They have to change in order to provide security and guard the women through the observation of the law.
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