Ann Weiss

Outer characterization

Ann Weiss is one of the most important characters in the story "A Small, Good Thing" by Raymond Carver. She is Scotty’s mother and Howard’s wife. Her outer characterization tells us that she is 33 years old. The story lacks details about her physical appearance, instead emphasizing her role as a mother and wife. We are told, however, that Ann puts on “clean underwear, wool slacks, and a sweater”, suggesting that the action takes place during a cold season.

Inner characterization

When we first meet Ann, she is at a bakery ordering her son’s favorite cake. The cake is for her son’s eighth birthday. These details suggest that she is a caring mother. This is further highlighted throughout the story, for example, when Scotty tells her about the accident. Then, Ann stays by Scotty’s bedside at the hospital, worrying constantly about him: “She was waiting for him to wake up and be all right. Then she could begin to relax.” She also prays and asks her husband to do the same. When Howard tells her that he did, she feels more reassured. This highlights Ann’s desperation, as she turns to a higher power to ask for Scotty’s recovery, even though she doesn't usually pray. Her desperation seems unbearable, as she fantasi...

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