Family Relationships in Carver’s “Popular Mechanics” and Godwin’s “A Sorrowful Woman” Both Raymond Carver’s very short story, “Popular Mechanics” and Gail Godwin’s short story “A Sorrowful Woman” describe the relationships between a small family: wife, husband, and child. Initially, it seems that the two families couldn’t be more different from one another. Carver’s husband and wife fight violently over their baby as they split up from one another. Godwin’s husband is incredibly understanding and helpful with whatever his sad and sorrowful wife needs for several weeks or months. In the end, however, each story becomes focused on a major loss, whether that of child, spouse, mother, or father. Neither family will ever be the same once the...The end:
.....y have to start dealing with the grieving process of her death. As readers, we finish both stories in a state of shock and sorrow, although Carver’s also comes with a sense of horror and rage, while Godwin’s comes with sadness for her husband and the potential loss of her child’s innocence that comes from losing a mother so young. Both Raymond Carver’s “Popular Mechanics” and Gail Godwin’s “A Sorrowful Woman,” are stories about family conflicts, about how relationships are built and are crushed, about how they live and die. Even though they seem so different from one another after a first reading, the more we think about them, the more similar they seem in their depiction of the emotional and physical pain that sometimes enters human lives.