"Chef's House" by Raymond Carter

Essay by samm9887High School, 10th gradeA-, November 2007

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Raymond Carter’s short story, “Chef’s House,” is about a recovering alcoholic, Wes, who is staying with a friend named Chef. Chef has already overcome his alcohol abuse and is helping out Wes with his problem. Wes and his wife, Edna, are separated but now he is ready to get her back. Therefore, Wes calls Edna and asks her to come and stay with him at Chef’s house. She is a little reluctant at first but she decides to leave the man she’s with, to come stay with Wes for a few months. Wes and Edna show a difference in will power and both demonstrate their own weaknesses throughout the story. Even though they both have good intentions, is it enough to keep their marriage alive?Wes lost his wife because of his drinking problem about two years ago. Ever since Edna left him, he has been trying to get his life in order.

After the two years past Wes decided to call Edna and ask her to forget what she had going, and to move up there and live with him. He called her twice and expressed his feelings for her and even said he’d do anything for her, “name it.” Finally Edna gave in and decided to move in to Chef’s house for the summer. They spent quality time together fishing, shopping, and on Tuesday evenings they’d go to the movies. One day Wes “went out to get a sprinkler” and “came back with a nice bunch of daisies and a straw hat” for Edna. This goes to show how much Wes respected Edna’s company and that she really played an important role on his life by acting as motive to him staying sober. Edna being there, really mad Wes think about what he lost through drinking and how her presence makes him a better person.

Edna is a really strong person for moving back with Wes. She knew the person he had turned into because of drinking and how it ruined their relationship once before. Yet she still took the chance to come back and start over. When Wes called her on the phone she noticed he didn’t slur his words and could sense a sign of good intensions. During their time spent together she realizes how much she still cares for Wes and even decides to put her wedding ring back on. She “hadn’t worn the ring in two years. Not since the night Wes was drunk and threw his ring into a peach orchard.” This shows that Edna wants to hold onto their marriage and share time together like they once had.

Wes and Edna both hold a weak spot for each other. Wes cried to Edna to come back to him and Edna gives in and moves to Chef’s house. As they enjoy each others presents they are both afraid of what may happen after Chef breaks the news that they have to move out. Even though everything feels like it used to be and they love the time they’ve spent with each other, will it be enough to keep their marriage alive after all the mistakes Wes had mad in the past?