Family Relationships in Raymond Carver's "Elephant" Analytical Essay by Top Papers

Family Relationships in Raymond Carver's "Elephant"
An examination of the familial relationships in Raymond Carver's "Elephant".
# 140508 | 1,250 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Dec 01, 2008 in Literature (American) , Child, Youth Issues (Family Issues)

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This paper discusses how Raymond Carver's "Elephant" is a story about the dichotomy of family relationships on various levels and its intimate and ugly implications. The paper analyzes the main character, George, to demonstrate how familial intimacy and love create unique loyalty between family members who consequently treat each other with unparalleled kindness and abuse at the same time.

From the Paper:

"The main character the father within a dysfunctional family, named George. His "payroll" finances his ex-wife, mother, brother, daughter (and her family) and son via regularly mailed checks; they are all down on their luck and need monthly checks from their father, who is a working man of modest means who walks to work, drinks his coffee without milk and has a hole in his shoe.
"This familial framework of dependence illustrates the theme of familial dichotomy. The father loves his family and supports them financially well beyond (non-familial) societal norms; one probably wouldn't send monthly checks to support a friend with no expectation of repayment. At the same time, his family takes advantage of him, again, beyond societal norms. For example, his brother borrows five hundred dollars without paying him back and then returns to ask for another thousand dollars with minimal remorse over the initial loan. This brother would likely be more hesitant to default on a loan; indeed real world financial problems drive him to abuse the main character's love and generosity after he loses his job."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Carver, Raymond. Elephant and Other Stories. New York: Vintage, 2003.
  • Kratochvila, Roman and staff. "What they're reading." Europe Intelligence Wire 5 Aug. 2004.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Family Relationships in Raymond Carver's "Elephant" (2008, December 01) Retrieved February 26, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Family Relationships in Raymond Carver's "Elephant"" 01 December 2008. Web. 26 February. 2024. <>