Essay

Analysis of Raymond Carvers

a) Summary of Content: A man, currently employed and between jobs, is waiting at home on the sofa listening to the rain, waiting for a job call from up North. Now and then, he�d look out the window hoping for the mailman, but no one was on the streets. Barely 5 minutes after the last look out the window, he hears a knock on the door, and knew it couldn�t be the mailman because he knew what his footsteps sounded like, and these were different. The guy gets up finally, after he realises there�s no escape from the situation, and enquires after the knocker. The person at the door is called Aubrey Bell, and was looking for Mr Slater as his wife had supposedly won something. Mr Slater goes to open the door after hearing Aubrey sneeze, and observes his appearance. Aubrey offers him a hand to shake, but Slater says he doesn�t know him. Aubrey explains that Mrs Slater filled out a card and that consequently she�d won something. Mr Slater explains that his wife no longer lives at the address, and enquires as to what his wife had won. Aubrey claims that he has to come inside and show him, and makes a random observation about Slater having a carpet. Aubrey then chuckles to himself and states that he thinks he�s feverish, and asks for an Aspirin, before sitting uninvited on the sofa and picking at the carpet with his feet. Slater gets the aspirin and gives it to Aubrey, and suggests he leaves, to which Aubrey hisses back �Are you speaking for Mrs Slater?� before withdrawing and showing off the vacuum cleaner he brought with him. Slater explains he�s not in the market to buy one, to which Aubrey replies that Mrs Slater had won a free vacuuming and carpet shampoo, and continues to rant for a while about the germs that can hide in carpets and mattresses and the like, whilst putting the vacuum cleaner together. Whilst Mr Slater tries to politely make Aubrey leave, Aubrey instead finds a plug in socket and began to vacuum.

Aubrey chatters away about different menial things whilst vacuuming different rooms in the house, before reaching a bedroom, where he began to vacuum the bed, sheets and pillows. Slater went and got the kitchen chair, and came back and sat on it whilst watching Aubrey vacuum. They discuss vacuuming for a while, and observe all the dirt. Aubrey shows Slater all the different filters the vacuum has as Slater helps him clean. They then discuss prices of the filters. Then the mailman delivers a letter, and both men go into the hall and stare at it. Slater is about to go open it, when he remembers Aubrey, and suggests once again that he leaves, telling him not to bother with the hall carpet. Aubrey, however, requests an ashtray and dumps the contents on the carpet, and proceeds to clean it.

Slater takes the chair back and sits in the kitchen, watching Aubrey through the doorway. Aubrey finishes vacuuming, and brings in the dirt bag to show off to Slater, who promptly throws it in the trash. Aubrey then commences shampooing the carpets silently. Slater, eager to get his financial situation in the open, announces that no matter what he can�t pay for the services or cleaner. Aubrey doesn�t say anything, but continues working, and so Slater settles back to watch him. Its still raining, and getting dark, when Aubrey finally finishes. Slater offers him coffee, and they sit down to drink together. Aubrey then picks up the letter, reads the address, and then slips it into his pocket , before saying �Its for a Mr Slater�, and explains he has to go, but can�t walk over the freshly shampooed carpet. Slater agrees, and then asks �Are you sure that�s who its for?� Aubrey is already half way out the door, when he turns around and replies, �You want to see.