"The Bath", by Raymond Carver and "Sea Oak", by George Saunders share similar themes of family, love and loss, but are written differently in style, structure and language. When writing fiction, there are no restrictions to the approaches a writer can take. The different styles that authors use attract different readers. Although there are similarities in the themes in Sea Oak and "The Bath", there are obvious differences in the methods the authors use to portray them.
Carver's "The Bath" is written in a minimalist style that has become pervasive in fiction. This style leaves room for the readers to use their imaginations. Carver's story is easy to relate to because it could happen anywhere and to anyone. Additionally, it is so timeless that it requires almost no background material for reading and understanding by an American audience. "The Bath" is a realistic story that deals with coping with the loss of a loved one.
The issues of loss and family are main themes in "The Bath".
All the dialogue in "The Bath" - the "he said," "she said," style of dialogue - moves the story along without concentration on the unimportant things. The near inarticulateness of his characters in the face of their loss is significant. This causes some readers to think that Carver's characters are too ordinary, and despairing in the attempts to cope with the experience which they have been thrust into. Others may believe that Carver's characters demonstrate that people living marginal, routine lives can come close to encountering insight in true emotional experiences, such as the death of a loved one. The mother and father in the story take similar courses of action, they both go home and take baths. This represents that, although they didn't outwardly show it, the boy's parents were going through...