So Much Water So Close to Home


This study guide will help you analyze the text “So Much Water So Close to Home” by Raymond Carver. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message. 

This study guide is based on the version of the short story which appears in the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981). A different, longer version exists in the collection Beginners (2009), published by Carver's wife years after his death.

Presentation of the text

Title: “So Much Water So Close to Home”
Author: Raymond Carver
Published in: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (collection)
Date of Publication: 1981
Genre: Short Story

Raymond Carver (1938-1988) is one of the most famous American writers of the twentieth century. Carver became very passionate about short stories during his writing career, and many critics consider that a great deal of his stories belong to the current called dirty realism.


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The short story “So Much Water So Close to Home” by Raymond Carver is structured around the dissolution of a marriage relationship following the husband and some of his friends discovering the dead body of a woman on a fishing trip. The story is structured relying on symbols and omissions, as the author leaves the readers with a lot of questions regarding the plot and the wife’s perception of her husband.

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So Much Water So Close to Home

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