Comparison Of "The Bath", By Raymond Carver And "Sea Oak", By George Saunders.

955 words - 4 pages

"The Bath", by Raymond Carver and "Sea Oak", by George Saunders share similar themes of family, love and loss, but are written differently in style, structure and language. When writing fiction, there are no restrictions to the approaches a writer can take. The different styles that authors use attract different readers. Although there are similarities in the themes in Sea Oak and "The Bath", there are obvious differences in the methods the authors use to portray them.Carver's "The Bath" is written in a minimalist style that has become pervasive in fiction. This style leaves room for the readers to use their imaginations. Carver's story is easy to relate to because it could happen anywhere and to anyone. Additionally, it is so timeless that it requires almost no background material for reading and understanding by an American audience. "The Bath" is a realistic story that deals with coping with the loss of a loved one. The issues of loss and family are main themes in "The Bath".All the dialogue in "The Bath" - the "he said," "she said," style of dialogue - moves the story along without concentration on the unimportant things. The near inarticulateness of his characters in the face of their loss is significant. This causes some readers to think that Carver's characters are too ordinary, and despairing in the attempts to cope with the experience which they have been thrust into. Others may believe that Carver's characters demonstrate that people living marginal, routine lives can come close to encountering insight in true emotional experiences, such as the death of a loved one. The mother and father in the story take similar courses of action, they both go home and take baths. This represents that, although they didn't outwardly show it, the boy's parents were going through the same thing and experiencing the same emotions. Carver portrayed how families come together when faced with the loss of a loved one by having both the characters cope with the idea of losing their son in the same way."Sea Oak", by George Saunders, is written in the classic form with a clear resolution. "Sea Oak" is set in a slightly futuristic world where people toil in the miserable jobs available to them. The story follows a narrator trying to support his family by working at an insufferable strip-club called Joysticks. He worries that his Cute Rating may drop from Knockout down through Honeypie and Adequate to Stinker, which would cause him to lose his job. Despite the humor, the narrator's work is seen as a dead-end, his finances and spiritual life are stagnant. Whether the characters retain hope or not is uncertain, but George Saunders' characters all continue to try, even when it means demeaning themselves. Paradoxically, the bleakness of their struggle only makes things funnier. The narrator's sister and cousin...

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