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Jerry And Molly And Sam

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by

Jessica King

on 27 September 2016

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Transcript of Jerry And Molly And Sam

Summary
Al is the main character of the story. He is insecure because his workplace is letting people, so he is afraid of losing his job. He is having an affair with another woman, which puts strain on his relationship with his wife and their kids. However, instead of dealing with these issues himself, Al blames everyone around him for his problems. The dog, Suzy, is his biggest scapegoat, as he places most of the hate and blame on her. Eventually, he takes Suzy and drops her off as far away as possible. After a fight with his wife, he starts feeling guilty and goes back, but Suzy turns away, wanting nothing to do with him.
About Raymond Carver
Raymond Carver grew up in a poor working class. This is similar to Al's work problems, as his job is not very secure.

He had an affair with his wife, which led to heavy drinking problems, much like Al.

Many of Carver's short stories incorporate the titles into the story. Although there was never any 'Sam,' Jerry and Molly did make a brief appearance in a bar.
Themes
Insecurity
- Al's work place is letting people go, which causes him to feel insecure in his job. His affair with Jill causes him to feel insecure in his marriage.

Guilt
- Al feels a lot of guilt. He's guilty after getting rid of Suzy, and for having the affair with Jill.

Blame and Control
- Instead of taking responsibility for his messed up life and trying to control it, Al blames everyone around him for what is going on. He eventually places all that blame on Suzy, and gets rid of her in an attempt to control his own life.

The Title- Discussion
Who was Molly?

Who was Jerry?

No Sam was ever mentioned in the story. Why do you think Carver used the name in the title?

Jerry and Molly were very insignificant characters. Why do you think Carver used their names to title the story?
Al- Discussion
How do you think Al should have reacted to all of his problems?

How did Al's attitude shift and change throughout the story?

Was Al right to use everyone around him as scapegoats, or did he bring his problems on himself?
Personal Discussion
Have you ever done something to try to get rid of a problem that ended up making the problem even worse?

How could you have handled that situation better?

Are there ways in which you can relate to Al?

Who do you sympathize with more in the story: Al or Suzy?
Jerry And Molly And Sam
Presentation By Jessica King
Full transcript