The Issue Of Child Neglect And Abuse In Popular Mechanics By Raymond Carver

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Authors often address contemporary issues people face in our society today, using characters and symbols to reinforce themes related to the social issues. In the story “Popular Mechanics”, Carver addresses the contemporary issue of child neglect and abuse. Three sources will be used and analyzed to help further the understanding of child neglect and abuse. The primary source, “Popular Mechanics” by Raymond Carver, is a fictional story that uses characters and symbols to outline the social issue of child neglect and abuse. “The Role of Neglect in Child Fatality and Serious Injury” by Marian Bradon, Sue Bailey, Pippa Belderson, and Birgit Larsson, focus on the importance of noticing and detecting child neglect and abuse. Lastly, “Intimate Partner …show more content…
The story begins in the middle of an argument between two parents, where the husband has decided to leave. The argument escalates as she grabs the picture of their child together, when the father exclaims “bring that back” (228). Carver uses the picture as a symbol of the fight they will soon have over the child. The act of taking the picture away is also used as a method of foreshadowing events to soon follow. “Holding the baby” (228), the mother and father soon begin to argue over who will keep the baby. “The baby was red-faced and screaming” (228), yet the parents paid no attention and continued to argue over the child. The parents were so involved over who would keep the child, they were unaware of the pain, physically and emotionally, they were causing their child. “She grabbed for the baby’s other arm / he felt the aby slipping out of his hands and he pulled back very hard” (229). The parents were neglecting their child to the point that they treated the child as an object, rather than the living being it …show more content…
The author’s state that “to guard against catastrophic neglect, children need to be physically and emotionally healthy and have a safe, healthy living environment” (1). Without a safe environment for a child to grow up in the child is more at risk to experience neglect or abuse. Parents are sometimes unknowingly neglecting their child as seen in the story “Popular Mechanics”. Parents are also sometimes undergoing stress, sending themselves or partners to the “tipping point” (4). The parents in “Popular Mechanics” reached their tipping point when the husband decided to leave. After parents reach this “tipping point” (4), it is easy for them to become unaware of the child: “Some young babies experience insensitive ‘rough handling’ / rough handling sometimes occurred in the build-up to domestic violence” (7). An event like this happens when the parents are not focused or observant of the child, rather they are absorbed in their own problems. Child fatality or serious injury can happen to any child, when parents are too busy focused on themselves rather than the safety of their

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