Literary Essay Sample: Everything Stuck to Him

Published: 2022-09-28
Literary Essay Sample: Everything Stuck to Him
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American literature
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 682 words
6 min read

The story mentioned above can be classified as a frame story, which was written by Raymond Carver. Its classified as a frame story since its main plot is told within another story. The author of the story is creative, an aspect which is revealed through the characters he chose, the setting, and plot of the story. The flow and tone of this fictional story are created by how the previously mentioned literary aspects are fixed together. The aim of this paper is to provide a literary analysis of Carver's story, "Everything stuck to Him".

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The story is about a girl, who asks her father to tell her how her childhood life was like. The conversation was taking place in Milan, during Christmas time, which is the first setting that the author, Raymond, introduces. Christmas evokes emotions in the audience, that links them to the meaning of the story (Dermot , 2014). The dad then describes the struggles that be folded between him and his wife and the fight that changed their marriage, when the girl was young.

Firstly, Raymond uses a variety of themes in conveying the intended message of the story, which is to showcase the lives of working people and the struggles that a real couple faces. The main themes which are present in the story include commitment, maturity, identity, and, responsibility. Lack of characterization is evident in the story which fosters the theme of identity. From the beginning of the story, it's hard to formulate the identity of the characters used as the author does not mention any names in particular. The parents to the young girl who the story is narrated to, are not referred to be either man or woman, but, the terms boy and girl are used (Thomson, 2013). The latter addresses the theme of maturity. Raymond decides not to refer to the parents of the girl as woman or man due to the level of maturity they had when they had the girl since they were only teenagers. From the plot of the story, the responsibility of the father to his child is evident as he chooses not to go hunting and be with his child after the girl's mother falls ill. This shows a significant commitment of the father towards his family, his ailing wife and his baby girl.

Other literary devices which are used in our Raymond's story are symbolism, foreshowing and lack of characterization (Thomson, 2013). The baby from the story kept on crying, signifying something wrong was occurring, hence foreshadowing. Symbolism was applied when the boy in the story, one of the main characters, pours syrup on his pants. This symbolized how hard getting off from his marriage was, just like getting the syrup off the trouser.

Raymond chose a setting which was vital to the story. The frame story firstly is created through the context the author uses. To ensure the story is a frame story, Raymond used the two settings of the apartment located above the dentist's office, and, Milan during Christmas (Dermot , 2014). This setting proved how the family started from humble beginnings as the apartment was humble and quaint, and located in Milan Italy. The setting hence establishes the tone of the story, evokes emotion in the audience and shows the couple struggles, where the latter is the primary purpose of the story as previously mentioned.


The literary elements which are discussed in this essay, are very crucial in relaying the purpose of the story. The unadorned style of writing that Raymond uses is reflected in the plot, setting, and characters who are used in the story. The latter portrayed the struggles which a regular couple faces but the audience is allowed to get a deeper meaning of the story after its analysis. As seen from the story, the thematic choices applied by Raymond are crucial in bringing out the story's message.


Dermot . (2014, January). Everything Stuck to Him by Raymond Carver. Retrieved from The Sting Bee:

Thomson, R. (2013, January). Everything Stuck to Him by Robert Carver. Retrieved from Prezi:

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