This was my final paper from WR 100 “The American Short Story.” The centrality of alcohol in Raymond Carver’s short stories drove me to reflect on its relationship to their mounting, if often sub-surface, emotional tension. Initially viewing alcohol as a recurring “menace” for this alcoholic author, I gradually uncovered a complex paradox: alcohol’s effectiveness as a social lubricant often left characters slipping and sliding socially and emotionally, for good or ill. Finally, I strove to place my ideas within the context of literary criticism, an important method I learned in WR 100 and 150. This allowed me to connect Carver with his model, Ernest Hemingway, and to join a larger scholarly conversation.

SARA KORNFELD SIMPSON, sophomore, is a Trustee scholar and a triple major in flute performance, oboe performance, and neuroscience enrolled in the dual degree program in BU’s College of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences. In fall 2014, she was honored in Washington, D.C. as a Davidson Fellow Laureate for her research in neuroscience, and her spring WR research paper on Melodic Intonation Therapy was chosen for publication in The Nerve, BU’s neuroscience journal. In addition to performing in BU orchestras, Sara participates in Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and toured the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland with them this summer. Sara would like to thank her supportive family in San Diego and especially her two WR professors, Dr. Breen and Professor Wallace, for stretching the bounds of her creativity and teaching her to write clearly and powerfully.