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rdb919 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Carver’s story takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the plot centers around two couples who sit around the table, drinking gin and having a conversation. The two couples, Nick and Laura, and Mel and Terri tell stories about people in their past and things that happened in their lives. The tone is tense and the couples bicker and reveal how unhappy they are. The continue to drink gin and feel miserable, and the story ends with the couples sitting at the table, unable to do anything else. Raymond Carver’s life is reflected in this story in two significant ways. During his life, he struggled with alcoholism and depression. These struggles found themselves on the pages of much of his writing. Many of his characters were men who were drinkers and also seemed to be depressed individuals. In this story, the characters use drink to escape the unhappiness of their lives, and the dialogue they have around the table reveals how miserable they all are.

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