Theme

The main theme of the short story “Why Don't You Dance?” by Raymond Carver is relationships, enhanced by motifs like drinking, sexuality (voyeurism and exhibitionism) and money.

Relationships

The story is focused on romantic relationships at different phases. The middle-aged man is at the end of a relationship caused by death or divorce (separation) and goes through a breaking-point which pushes him to sell all the furniture from the house he lived in with his wife while arranging it in an obsessive way to mirror the way it looked inside. The way he exhibits the furniture and does not seem bothered about others seeing him and the young couple drinking and dancing might suggest the old man has an inclination towards exhibitionism (sexual behavior in...

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