The short story “They’re Not Your Husband” by Raymond Carver focuses on multiple different themes. Earl is a jobless salesman who is embarrassed by the appearance of his wife Doreen and becomes very controlling of her. Earl uses his wife as if she was one of his sales jobs, and stays motivated throughout it all. The conversation between two men talking about the way that his wife looks triggered his behavior and lead him to become so possessive of his wife’s appearance.
When Earl showed up to Doreen job he was embarrassed by the comment made by two men. The two men stated “Some jokers like their quim fat” (Carver 18), Earl was extremely embarrassed by that remark to the point he left. When Doreen got home that day, Earl insisted that she loses weight. Doreen didn’t really understand why because to her she looked fine. Every day Earl would watched Dorren diet and he would check her weight also. Earl stays motivated throughout Doreen’s whole weight lost journey even more than she was. Earl takes it as an opportunity to have something to do since he is out of a job. At one point Doreen is practically starving herself and just shedding pounds of. Earl is so motivated through it all that he doesn’t care about how she feels until she reaches where he wants her.
“Slob, Go ahead, eat! Go on” (Carver 21), said Earl when he found Doreen eating. Earl was extremely upset as if all the worked he put in just went to waste. As stated earlier Earl is using Doreen as one of his job sales. He is making sure she is perfectly ready before the big event. Doreen is constantly losing pounds week after week. She loses three and a half one week, five another, then nine and a half. She is extremely exhausted, continuously tired and away from her duties. She is constantly sleeping, leaving all the work to Earl who is happy to assist his weak and helpless wife. Earls priorities are completely corrupted, as is his presumptuous method for his wife to lose weight.