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Elephant Analysis

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Jimi Hutchings

on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of Elephant Analysis

Raymond Carver Elephant (1988) Raymond Carver Thank you! - May 25, 1938 -August 2 1988
-Constantly struggled to support his family.
-Moved up and down the west coast.
-Short stories were often reflective of his life.
-"Will You Please Be Quiet, Please," best short story collection of 1976 Late 1980's/Early 1990's recession Historical Context Realistic Fiction
Slice of Life Genre -House
-Relatives homes Setting Characters The Narrator:
Continues to submit to his family members' requests despite the toll it takes on himself.
Wants to be wanted.
Family's dependency cures narrator's loneliness.
Passive which led to his guilt parenting. . Symbols Elephant- symbolic of leadership, stability, and loyalty.
Symbolic of the narrator and the qualities that his family members took advantage of. Themes Quote "What was it I planned to do in Australia, anyway? The truth was, I wouldn't be going there anymore than I'd be going to Timbuktu, the moon, or the North Pole. Hell, I didn't want to go to Australia. But once I understood this, once I understood I wouldn't be going there-- or anywhere else, for that matter-- I began to feel better." pg. 368 Quote 2 "He knew everything I was telling him. Still, he said he was sorry to hear it. I kept talking. It was his dime. But as he talked I started thinking, How are you going to pay for this call, Billy? Then it came to me that I was going to pay for it. It was only a matter of minutes, or seconds, until it was all decided." Quote 3 "In the second dream, somebody had offered me some whiskey, and I dank it. Drinking that whiskey was the thing that scared me. That was the worst thing that could have happened. That was rock bottom. Compared to that, everything else was a picnic. I lay there for a minute longer, trying to calm down. Then I got up." Brother, Mother, Ex-wife, Daughter, and Son:
Continue to ask for money.
Get lazier and needier throughout the story.
Boost the narrator's ego. Point of View -Stream of Consciousness
-1st person Dream 1 - Flashback to when he was younger and his father was alive.
Family could depend on the father.
Felt as if he had to take on the role of his father, thus everyone depending on him. Dream 2 -former family growing together
Sense of satisfaction and well-being in the dream
Family broke apart and became more dependent
Whiskey symbolic of his breaking point Money - Relationships with his family Threat to leave for Australia - when he realised how dependent they are on him Greed
Inability to say no
Reliance and Responsibilities
Desire to do, but no willpower A stock collapse, although managed well by the government, lead to the weakening of the savings and loans industry.
Put many American's finances in jeopardy.
High unemployment for several years afterward.
Rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression increased.
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