What comment on life does Raymond Carver make in his story "Everything Stuck to Him?"

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most significant comments to emerge from "Everything Stuck To Him" is how our choices "stick" to us.  In Carver's stories, we are defined by our choices.  The boy is defined by the choice he makes in what he chooses.  The world of wife and child is poised against the choice of self- fulfillment.  There are critical moments in which couples must face agonizing choices.  These choices "stick" to us for they define us and our being.  They are brought on by change, by moments that exist outside of our control, yet by which we must control our reactions to them:  "Things change, he says. I don’t know how they do. But they do without your realizing it or wanting them to."  

The comment brought out with this is that we cannot pretend that choices do not have consequences.  The boy and girl must live with their choices, and each one must understand the painful condition of these choices.  The confusion of a baby's cry, the coldness outside, the desire to see the world, and the need to be within one's own sense of identity are all realities that "stick" to us no different than the waffles that stick to the boy.  In the end, this recognition becomes a critical comment that emerges from Carver's understanding of what it means to be a human being in love with another.

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