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So Much Water So Close to Home

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In the story "So Much Water So Close To Home" a young girl is raped, killed and found in a river where four men are fishing. What makes this story interesting is that after discovering the body they did not report it until after they left, three days later. When one of the men who discovered her, the husband of the narrator, Stuart returns home he doesn't tell his wife about the incident until the following morning. Because of this, Claire believes that all men are responsible for the murder of the girl. Due to these facts she acts irrationally, suspiciously, and with distrust not only towards her husband, but also to all men in general.

Claire's thought process though out the story shows her suspicion. This suspicion causes Claire to notice minuet details, which would usually be overlooked by the common person. At the dinner table she watches his every move, "he seems tired, edgy.... He looks at me and looks away again"(Carver, 278). These are usually the mannerisms of some one who has done something wrong, acting out of the norm and having shifty eyes is an unconscious way of showing guilt, but in this instance it could be Claire imagining these things. When someone needs to believe something so drastically, they can make things up to justify their thoughts. It is quite possible that Stuart was acting fine but Claire's suspicion took hold of her perspective causing her to see these characteristic ways of a guilty person. While on a drive with Stuart Claire thinks "so much water so close to home, why did he have to go miles away to fish?" (282) She believes the men went to the lake so far away so that no one would see them murder the girl. Even the husband notices his wife's suspicion, saying "don't look at me like that. Be careful now. I mean it. Take it easy, Claire"(280). Stuart says this because he can feel the distrust Claire has in him. Yet again, this is another instance that Claire is acting in suspicion.

Through out the story Claire acts very irrational, especially towards men. These irrational acts are caused by the fact that she believes that men are the reason for this girl's death and the murder of women in general, and she shows this by the way she reacts to what Stuart says and towards the men in the story. When unable to deal with what her husband tells her about what happened to the girl, she reacts by "[Raking her] arm across the drain board and sending the dishes and glasses smashing and scattering across the floor"(278). No person in the right state of mind would randomly smash glasses and break dishes for no reason. It is evident that the actions Claire takes are in relation to the fact she feels her husband is some how responsible for the murder of the girl. While at the gas station she is very rude to the man trying to help her, not letting him check her tiers to make sure her trip to the girls funeral is safe "I said no. No! They look fine to me. I have to go now"(287). This portrays how she doesn't trust any man she meets, even men who are clearly not involved with the girls murder or the death of any other girl. Even though the man is trying to do Claire a favor all she can do is act irrationally and refuse the help. This is the first time the reader sees not only her clear distrust towards her husband but in all men in general. On the way through the mountains a man in a green truck offers to follow her to make sure she drives safely. When he offers she refuses to roll down her window for him and says "please, I have to go" (288). This is another example of how Claire not only has suspicions about her husband but all men in general. Another man has offered to do something kind for Claire and she yet again refuses to accept it. It is clear that no matter what the circumstances are, due to the murder of the girl, Claire has lost all trust in the male race. Her irrational behavior continues in the story when she decides to sleep on the couch instead of with her husband "'I need to be by myself tonight' [she says] 'I need time to think'"(285). It is easy to see that Claire does not trust her husband enough to sleep with him in the same bed because he is a man.

Claire focuses on her husband's hands a lot during this story because she is convinced



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