What role does Fat Carl serve in "Johnny Bear"?
Fat Carl is the unfriendly, gruff bar tender and owner of the Buffalo Bar. The men in the town frequent the bar as a place to drink whiskey and as a way to talk together and rest after a day of work. Fat Carl, in this way, brings all the townsmen together through running the bar, which stands as a kind of meeting place. His gruff nature and lack of decorations in the bar sets a tone for the solemnity and lack of outright friendliness found in the bar. Fat Carl, rather than standing out in this setting, is rather reflective of this inhospitable setting. He is the physical, sentient representation of the bar's atmosphere, and his unfriendliness has its own kind of appeal for the people who regularly go to the bar.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial