“Why Don't You Dance?” is a brief short story structured around a single main event, a yard sale which brings a couple and a middle-aged man together. The elements of the plot are not obvious at first, as the author’s focus is on conveying hidden meanings.

Raymond Carver relies on the iceberg technique to structure this short story, which means that readers are only given about 20% of the actual plot of the story and the rest is left for them to guess and interpret.



The title of the short story represents a line from the narrative which marks the start of the climax. It is the suggestion the character of the middle-aged man makes to the young couple interested in buying his furniture: “Why don't you kids dance? he decided to say, and then he said it. "Why don't you dance?” (p. 2, ll. 12-13)

As a title,...

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