A Small, Good Thing Essay

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Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on twentieth century literature. In this essay, Aubrey compares “A Small, Good Thing” to Carver's “The Bath,” an earlier version of the story.

Literary critics have often agreed that the stories in Carver's collection, Cathedral, are less bleak, more hopeful, than the stories he published earlier in his career. Some critics have seen in “A Small, Good Thing” a tale of spiritual redemption. According to this view, Scotty is an innocent, suffering, Christ-like figure, and the final scene is a symbolic echo of the Last Supper in the Christian gospel. According to William Stull, in “Beyond Hopelessville: Another Side of Raymond Carver,” this scene presents “a final vision of forgiveness and community rooted in religious faith.” Those who read the story in this positive light sometimes suggest that Carver invests the number three with spiritual...

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This section contains 1,786 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Small, Good Thing Study Guide
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