The most important characters in “A Small, Good Thing” by Raymond Carver are Ann and Howard Weiss, and the baker.

Both Ann and Howard are loving parents and spouses. They spend most of their time in the hospital, worried about Scotty and fearful about his fate. Throughout the story, they are tormented by mysterious calls, which turn out to be from the baker, a lonely man who is angry at them for not picking up Scotty’s birthday cake.

The baker is presented as a man who is frustrated by his social isolation, who takes out his frustration on the Weisses, unknowingly causing them more pain. His loneliness has made him unused to normal social situations, which makes him incapable of communicating his problem to Scotty's parents. The end of the story shows the three characters still capable of forgiveness and connection, despite their personal tragedies.

You can read a more detailed analysis of Ann, Howard, and the baker in the following pages.

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