Will You Please Be Quiet Please Analysis

2316 Words 10 Pages
Lucy Knipe
Essay #3 M01A

Contrast Essay
Steve Martin’s The Pleasure of my Company and Raymond Carver’s Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

The ancient fabulist Aesop famously wrote that “every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.” The truth as it pertains to love, is no different. In a juxtaposition of Steve Martin’s Pleasure of my Company and Raymond Carver’s Will You Please Be Quiet, Please, this duality of love’s power is both what unifies and creates distinction in these two very different pieces of work. There are three striking differences between these two works: dominate character arch, psychological narrative and literary style.

The first way The Pleasure of my Company and
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All the interpersonal relationships in his life are either superficial or completely imaginary. A novel about the “masquerade of discomfort and struggle not with conformity but with the social act of living” (Stevens), Daniel’s mental illness has both complicated his ability to connect with the physical world and with other people. Ralph, on the other hand, is introduced in Will You Please Be Quiet, Please as a normal man- both mentally and emotionally stable. While there is an allusion to a time in Ralph’s youth that he needed, and found, direction, by all accounts at the start of the story “Ralph Wyman is relatively successful and content with his life” (Nesset 307). With a steady job, a house, two children and a wife he felt understood him as perfectly as he understood her, Ralph also “felt he understood himself- what he could do, what he could not do, and where he was headed”(Carver “Will You” 230). In both narratives, an event occurs that changes the course of these men’s lives. However, the natures of these events are extremely different. For Daniel, his life begins to transform after he instinctually runs outside to protect his therapists’ son Teddy from the child’s own estranged and aggressive father. In doing so, not only does he accidently prove to himself that he can forgo his usual spatial rules of

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