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Word Count: 1,360
Put Yourself in My Shoes Put Yourself in My Shoes is one of the longest and most complex stories in the collection and one of its finest In addition it brings together a number of the themes and images that have recurred throughout the book For example it depicts the kind of interaction between two couples that we have seen in Neighbors and Whats in Alaska in this case the Myerses go to visit the Morgans whose house they had lived in for a year while Professor Morgan and his wife were in Germany but whom they have not seen since Furthermore the issue of empathy that surfaced in Fat Neighbors and The Idea the ability to visualize oneself in anothers perspective is so central here that in becomes the title of the story What is different about this story however is its self-consciousness its concentration on the role of the writer In many ways Put Yourself in My Shoes can be seen as Carvers comment on his own career on storytelling itself Myers is a writer although he hasnt sold anything yet and is currently not writing He has quit his job to pursue his muse but with little success As the story opens he is depressed between stories and feeling despicable when his wife calls to invite him to the office Christmas party But he doesnt want to go mainly because the textbook publishing company where she works is also his former place of employment Like Marston in What Do You Do in San Francisco Myers is feeling the guilt of the unemployed which is intensified by the fact that he moves in a much more upscale setting that is typical of Carvers protagonists Myers is also reluctant to pay a holiday call on the Morgan although his wife Paula finally convinces him to go The meeting does turn out to be quite an uncomfortable occasion however As they
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