Writing Assignment on
Raymond Carver's "Errand"

Note:  If you are going to print this off in one of the KSU public computer labs, you will first need to go into the File menu at the top of your browser, choose Page Setup and click on Black Type, to ensure that colored fonts in this document print out.

Write on one of the following topics:

Topic A.  Explain how this Carver communicates/extablishes the human dignity of one of the following characters:  Anton Chekhov, Olga Chekhov, Dr. Schwörer.

Topic B.  Explain how Chekhov behaves in a way that outwardly might suggest that psychologically in denial of his death.  How does the story make it clear that (at least in this fictional version of Chekhov's dying days) he is not in denial, to himself.  What then are we to understand as the significance of those details in the story that might give the impression Chekhov was not facing up to his impending death?  That is, what motives are we led to attribute to him?  And what attitude are we to adopt towards him in virtue of our appreciation of this understanding of his motives?

Topic C.  What is the significance of the meticulousness with which Chekhov's wife describes the errand she sends the hotel servant upon?

  Consult the Study Guide to this story before attempting this writing assignment.

  You may also wish to review the general instructions on writing assignments.

  Suggestions are welcome.  Please send your comments to lyman@ksu.edu .

      Contents copyright © 1999 by Lyman A. Baker

Permission is granted for non-commercial educational use; all other rights reserved.

  This page last updated 01 May 1999.