Character Analysis: So Much Water So Close To Home

1098 Words 5 Pages
Maddie Hawn
Professor Figler
English 101
13 September 2015
Essay One: Version One In the short story So Much Water So Close to Home, Raymond Carver uses both setting and characterization, as well as many other literary devices, to show that Stuart is responsible for the rape and murder of Susan Miller. The whole situation causes a mental and physical separation between Stuart and his wife Claire once he returns home from his annual fishing trip. Stuart is characterized to be an angry, aggressive, defensive, and abusive alcoholic with a very short temper. When something happens that he doesn't like, he flips out and gets so angry so easily. His short temper usually comes out when Claire does not do what he wants, usually when it comes to
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The Naches River is the most important setting in the story. This is where Stuart and his three friends supposedly found Susan Miller’s dead, naked body while on a fishing trip. They apparently found her, then tied her to some tree roots, and casually left her there while they continued on with their trip. The men did not call the police to report the body until their trip was over, three days later. Claire is suspicious that Stuart is responsible for the rape and murder of Susan Miller and questions why he and his friends had to go all the way to the Naches River, when there is a perfectly good pond to fish in so close to home. Some minor settings, such as the kitchen, also played an important role in the story. There is a scene where Claire purposely drops some plates while doing dishes, while Stuart is out on the patio smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. He doesn't come inside to make sure she is okay, he doesn't even turn around to look. It is as if he didn't even hear it. This scene most definitely represents the separation between Stuart and Claire because it shows Stuart simply just does not care about her or about anything really. One last setting I want to mention is their bedroom. After Stuart’s fishing trip, the couple very rarely sleeps in their bedroom together. Claire often sleeps out on the couch in the living room and Stuart actually slept outside of the house one night, it was not mentioned where. This is another example of the detachment between the two. Claire no longer feels comfortable, safe, or normal around

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