Sunday, November 10, 2019

Children and the hous Essay

Carver has been called a â€Å"dirty realist†. In what way do you think this can be applied to â€Å"Neighbors† and â€Å"They’re not your husband†?  I don’t think Carver’s work can really be stereotyped; it is certainly different from other fiction by other American writers, so I don’t think it can ever really be given a heading like â€Å"dirty realism†.  Even though the word â€Å"dirty† conjures pictures of filth, squalor and generally anything sexually different that people tend to shun, but in fact it almost has a double meaning- it doesn’t have to mean sordid- it’s almost a term for describing anything sexually explicit which might otherwise be thought unethical or immoral. â€Å"Neighbors† is a story which basically is an insight into someone else’s life- something that you would never normally know about that could be translated as interfering or an incredible lack of respect for other people and their belongings.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"They’re not your husband† is a portrayal of male behavior and how controlling it can sometimes be.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"Neighbors† is a revealing insight into the life of a couple going through a particularly difficult stage in their relationship. The idea of such a trivial thing like feeding their friends’ cat is a particular trait of Carver’s- to use something incredibly mundane to blossom something amazing from something pretty boring and routine. The way Bill and Arlene break all the unwritten laws of society and therefore bring a new flame to their relationship is odd in itself, but when you think about it, it is an obvious way- to try on the lives of people who are happy and confident in their relationship, and copy it into yours. The non conformist way they behave is yet another style of Carver; to show us the way people behave when they know other people can’t see into their world or the way they are acting. I don’t think that this particular story is particularly dirty, even if it is slightly sexual- it is not particularly crude or off putting. It is quite subtle- for example, the way that they always use the excuse of â€Å"playing with Kitty† when they spend hours in the Stones’ flat, is reminiscent of felines, which can be portrayed as erotic or sexual, and it is such a pathetic excuse that it’s obvious it’s not true- but neither of them ever questions it, they seem to have a hidden bond which lets them understand each other perfectly, and I think this is why they don’t need to discuss anything when they go into the flat together. Although the Millers make the fatal mistake of leaving the key inside the house at the end of the story, it is too late, the image of perfect, routine middle- class life is broken. We realise that when we saw these people as a normal couple, mundane with no ups and downs in their lives, that we had only just scratched the surface. These people can behave just as badly as anyone else an although we do not see it, they are just as unlikely to conform to some perfect boring lifestyle than any of us. â€Å"They’re not your husband† is a frank description of how male behavior can lead to extremes when men are put under great pressure. This can often happen in relationships when the female is more successful than the male, yet is unlikely to happen in circumstances where the man is the breadwinner and a wife or partner is left at home to look after children and the house.  This statement is proved when Earl’s failure to get himself a job leads to his controlling behavior over his wife in a want of something to live for, a purpose in life. Earl enjoys having some influence over her life and the way he can make decisions for her- after all, he doesn’t really have any to make for himself. It gives him something to think about- ways to get her to lose more weight quickly, to make her an object of desire that he can be proud to be seen with. Earl seems to have no opinions or morals of his own- he relies on the opinions and gossip of other people to tell him whether his wife is attractive or not. He doesn’t seem to be able to tell that she has lost too mush weight- it is like he has lost slight control of his mind, similar to the way anorexics do, they believe they are still fat even when they are skeletal. Earl would like her to continue losing weight until he hears someone say that she looks good- then he would be satisfied. The language used in this story is much more crude and chauvinist than that used in â€Å"Neighbors†. When the two business men discuss Doreen, saying â€Å"Some men like their quim fat†, this is deliberately coarse and blunt to represent just how lightly it was said, and how shallow Earl must be to take it seriously instead of standing up for his wife and forgetting about it. Instead he walks out of the cafe, pretending not to know her to save himself embarrassment. The language they use is quite dirty, but this is not Carver’s own views- it is him trying to show how insincere and shallow people can be, and the seedy way they can behave. How 0men can judge a woman simply by her looks and completely ignore character. This is extremely realistic in the sense of how people are embarrassed to admit they are with somebody because they think they’re special, desperate for other people not to think worse of them because they like someone not considered to be up to the standards of others. It shows the appalling level that things can get to in a real- life situation without any of the family noticing much. IT takes outsiders to make a difference, good or bad. In both stories Carver uses â€Å"dirty realism† to give the audience an insight into the lives of real people- things that could actually happen and don’t revolve around some huge unrealistic drama like a lot of fiction does. However it is a lot more obvious in â€Å"They’re not your husband† than it is in â€Å"Neighbors†, simply because the language is that much more raw and unrefined. It is subtler in â€Å"Neighbors†, yet it is still there, and if anything, I find the subtlety more effective than the obvious, harsh language in â€Å"They’re not your husband†. In both stories the language is simple and unpolished, leaving the mind of the reader open to discover the seedy and immoral world he has based his characters in. It opens your eyes to see the world around us in the same way, which is slightly daunting and depressing, but probably a good thing in the long run as it lets us look at other people and realise how pointless their lives are.  I think Carver has been classed as a â€Å"dirty realist† simply for the reasons that he uses sex as to act as a part in the life of human beings which can be changed by something which doesn’t have to be very dramatic, making it realistic.

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