Personal Reaction to Journal: “Little Things”

30.05.2019 in Reaction Essay
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“Little Things” by Raymond Carver is a story of two young people whose marriage seems to be crumbling down. The prolonged wrangle between the two proves to be harmful to their young son, but they appear to be insensitive of mindful of this fact. This essay is my personal response to Carver’s story; it parallels my personal experience to the story by Carver.

Keywords: boy, divorce, melting

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Personal Reaction to Journal


A number of young people normally rash into marriage without laying a good foundation for it and end up breaking after a short period into their marriage. A few years ago, I met a beautiful lady; we fell in love, and hastily decided to marry each other. We thought that we would enjoy our lives together as a couple until death separates us. However, our relationship grew sour after two years of our marriage, and could not tolerate each other six months after our first son was born. Raymond Carver’s “Little Things” presents disagreement between the couple in a way much similar to the ordeal I experienced. First, the weather changes quite early in the day, signifying the breaking marriage, and the snow melts slowly into dirty water. The marriage does not end smoothly as a tussle ensures between the two (man and wife). The amount of pain the two go through in the process of divorce appears to be enormous. Finally, a fight ensures between the two and, with the baby at the center of all of this, he suffers more than either of the two.

In Carver’s story, the weather changed quite early in the day with the snow melting down into dirty water. The marriage was slowly breaking up, ‘melting’, at an early stage in the marriage of the couple. Unfortunately, the white snow, which signified pure and innocent love, was slowly finding its way “into dirty water” leaving no hope of reunion. This work is a reflection of the battle that existed between me and my wife. Though we loved each other, our bond of love began to degenerate in the early days of our marriage. However, much we tried to reconcile things, the love we had for each other melt slowly into the sea of conflicting personalities that was shaking our marriage.

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The man is seen to be packing his belongings as dark creeps inside the house and equally engulfs the outside environment. Although the woman claims to be glad that the husband is leaving, the pain of the breakage is evident as “She began to cry”. Just as in “Little Things”, the marriage between the two of us was so painful to bear. I would compare the darkness that Carver experienced within and outside the house to the discomfort I had in staying in the marriage and the fear I had in leaving the same and moving out anyway.

As the man was parking, it all seems he was only interested in having the boy’s picture and going his way, at least to keep the memories of the son alive. This did not materialize since the wife realized that the picture of their baby was on their bed and took it. This apparently pushed the man to change his mind and demand for the boy. The fight that follows definitely ends up hurting the boy who cries as the two confront each other. Similar to my case, I valued our son, and it was hard leaving him behind, but I decided to do so and spare him trauma. Just as the man in Carver’s story who wanted to go with the boy’s photo, I indicated to my wife that our separation must not deny me the opportunity to see our son occasionally. Heartlessly, she promised me that I would never be able to see the boy again. This made me change my mind and demanded to go with the boy rather than a right of access. The confrontation with my wife proved harmful to the boy. Unlike the man in Carver’s story, I later gave up the fight for the sake of the boy.


In “Little Things”, Raymond Carver gives the reader a clear picture of the condition of many marriages in our society today. Several marriages are loosely knit and usually break after a short time. The notion of love held by a number of people has made them ignore several underlying factors in the institution of marriage. Nevertheless, the writer tends to focus on the children as the party that ultimately bears the consequences of such breakups.

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