Understand key literary devices used in the story Learn how to identify the main theme of the story Explore how literary devices and theme connect
Exploring the Literary Devices and Theme of Popular Mechanics by Raymond Carver
In 'Popular Mechanics' by Carver, what happens to the baby?
- The baby was injured
- The baby died
- The dad got the baby
- The mom got the baby
Work in Pairs: In ONE word, what is this story about?
Write one word to describe the tone of Popular Mechanics.
Pick 5 words that you think are used deliberately by the author to set the tone. Enter them separately.
Popular Mechanics is a magazine and website that is dedicated to How-To and DIY items and articles. It discusses subjects on automotive, technology and electronics, among other things.
Why is this the title of the story?
The story was first published with the title "Mine" in 1977 in a book of short stories called Furious Seasons and other Stories. It was republished with the title "Popular Mechanics" in another book of short stories called What We Talk About When We Talk About Love in 1981. It was finally renamed again to "Little Things" when it was republished in a book called Where I'm Coming From in 1988.
Why the change in titles?
Brain break: Draw a self-portrait of yourself as a superhero!
Work together in pairs: Why are there no quotation marks?
The struggle over a baby echoes the story of the Judgment of Solomon in the book of 1 Kings in the Bible. In this story, two women arguing over ownership of a baby bring their case to King Solomon for resolution. Solomon offers to cut the baby in half for them. The false mother agrees, but the real mother says she'd rather see her baby go to the wrong person than see it killed. Because of this woman's selflessness, Solomon recognizes that she is the real mother and awards her custody of the child.
The Wisdom of Solomon