Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jerry and Molly and Sam

After reading Jerry and Molly and Sam, I felt a combination of sadness, confusion, anger and pity but thought it was a good overall story.  The plot and was really interesting because I thought that the main character resembled me in some instances.  I know what it feels like to be annoyed with someone or something and you just want to get away from them, but after going without that person around, you start regretting what you have done and all you want to do is beg for that person to take you back.
I felt so much sadness and for the dog, I could not believe that the guy just leaves the family dog in a neighborhood.   Even though a dog may be annoying and destructive, it's still a part of your family.  Abandoning a dog is like dropping off your kids in a bad neighborhood.  When Al dropped the dog of, I actually felt like crying.
I was confused on why Carver named the story "Jerry and Molly and Sam", you only read about those three character's once.  Sam is apparently some old neighbor, Jerry is the bartender, and Molly is someone that Al meets in the bar.  They are the least mentioned characters in the story and don't really help with the development of the story.  It is this type of title that makes me think.
I also felt anger against Al because he was a terrible person.  This guy drinks (it doesn't specify if he drinks allot), he has affairs with other women other than his wife, and lies so much.  I think that he deserves for the dog to not take his back.  Also how dare he tell his wife everything will be fine, even though he is lying.
Overall though, I liked the story, it kept me interested.


  1. I think the reason Carver named the story "Jerry and Molly and Sam" was to point out how the main character used others, no matter how minor, as his scapegoat for his own problems. Instead of dealing with his own problems he puts everything off on others and foolheartedly believes that he is incapable of doing any wrong.

    I agree with you, though, Carver wrote a fantastic short story!

  2. I believe the seemingly insignificant characters he used in the title represent all that alludes Al.
    Jerry the bartender, who is "good at fixing things," as opposed to Al who cannot change or fix his own life; Molly represents all he cannot have; Sam is actually the name of Al's boyhood Irish Setter, briefly mentioned in a cherished memory of his childhood in the Cascades, the last place he ever felt happy and would "never, never for any reason ever, ever leave again," if he could ever go back, but he of course, cannot. This analyzation completes the story for me but with any great writer, you can take whatever you want from it. Carver's bleak prose are layered in complexities magnifying the human heart. His characters are always so memorable, even the seemingly insignificant ones.