A Small, Good Thing Questions and Answers

A Small, Good Thing

In "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara, and "A Small, Good Thing" by Raymond Carver, the themes may reflect some similarities, though the stories are very different. In "Raymond's Run," Raymond...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2011 5:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

In "A Small, Good Thing" by minimalist Raymond Carver is a story with a message of sympathy and forgiveness and the cited line is pivotal to this lesson. Not knowing that Ann and Howard Weiss have...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2011 10:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

There are a number of conflicts in "A Small, Good Thing," as is the case with most stories, but when we think about which is central to the narrative, it's fairly clear that the loss of Ann and...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2016 5:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

The fundamental topic matter in both works is the same. "The Bath" is the predecessor to "A Small, Good Thing" and placing them side by side reveals this. On one hand, "The Bath" takes the...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

Part of the grief that both parents experience comes from a lack of knowing. Ann voices this at several points while Scotty is incarcerated: "I want to talk to the doctor. I don't think he should...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2014 11:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

Ann Weiss, Scotty’s mother, orders a cake for his birthday from the local baker. The cake is a chocolate cake and is to be “decorated with a spaceship and launching pad under a sprinkling of white...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2018 10:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

I don't know if I'd classify this story as pessimistic or optimistic. I'd say this story says something about one of the overwhelming human desires—the desire to be understood and experience...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2015 4:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

Because Scotty is hit by a car on his birthday, his parents completely forget about the cake that they have ordered from a bakery. This omission leads to a series of events on which the plot of...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2015 7:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

Raymond Carver's 1983 short story is freighted with pathos, and both communication and the lack of communication affect characters in "A Small, Good Thing." The lack of communication between Ann...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2017 10:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

Daylight is a conventional symbol for a new beginning, hope, understanding, having passed through the darkness of sorrow, and a positive movement in life; light in Raymond Carver's "A Small Good...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2016 7:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

Both stories address themes of communication (or the difficulties of it) and isolation, and what results when communication breaks down and isolation results. What can overcome such isolation? In...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2007 5:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

In his short story “A Small, Good Thing,” Carver evokes sympathy for the characters of Ann and the baker through their interactions with and observations of other characters. When Ann—the mother of...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2020 8:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

This short story and poem reveal the idea that words often fail us. Language simply does not and cannot always accurately express our feelings or experiences. The verbal comfort offered by the...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2019 11:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Small, Good Thing

In the beginning of "A Small, Good Thing," the baker is a cantankerous and brusquely unpleasant fellow. After the accident, when Ann fails to go in Monday morning to pick up the birthday cake...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2010 3:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

Some of Ann's and Howard's agonies, representing the major conflict of the story, are relieved by a trip to the bakery about a three-day old birthday cake because they find there a chance to share...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2010 3:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

The setting in Raymond Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing” plays a significant role in the mood of the story. I will focus primarily on the hospital, since the majority of the action takes place there....

Latest answer posted July 11, 2018 5:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

The primary literary device Carver uses in "A Small, Good Thing" is dialogue. Carver’s style is relatively free of flowery descriptions, including unnecessary similes and metaphors within his...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2018 11:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

For three critics whose essays are posted here on enotes, Raymond Carver's short story "A Small, Good Thing" points to the theme in its very title. If not the redemption from suffering, then at...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2011 4:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

I think that the inclusion of Franklin's family in the narrative is significant because it triggers the change in Ann that we see come full circle at the end of the story. Prior to Scotty's...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2011 4:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Small, Good Thing

If you are asking why the death of children seems to be an increasingly common topic in literature, I have several suggestions. One very well-regarded historian, Lawrence Stone, tried to argue...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

7 educator answers

A Small, Good Thing

That would depend on how long your paper has to be. A longer paper would require a more general thesis statement than a shorter paper. A good thesis should do 4 things: focus on ONE central...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2008 10:30 am UTC

1 educator answer