Charles Baxter's “scheherazade”

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Charles Baxter's “Scheherazade”


Charles Baxter was born, in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College, in Saint Paul. After completing graduate work in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he taught for several years at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Baxter is the author of 5 novels, 5 collections of short stories, 3 collections of poems, 2 collections of essays on fiction and is the editor of other works. More detailed information about each of Baxter's books can be found in the published works section.

Thesis statement

The paper discuses how well Charles Baxter depicts the element of affection and love in his short story “Scheherazade”.

Discussion and Analysis

The short story, “Scheherazade” by Charles Baxter, begins inside a hospital room with an old married, couple conversing with each other. The old woman is purposely making up stories about the lives before they told to entertain her husband, who can be hooked up to a respirator. The relationship between the couple has probably been a lot less perfect and glamorous than the stories he wife tells, and the author uses this to show that the truth may not always be the best choice for every relationship.

So obviously, the relationship between them has not been perfect or else the wife would not be making up stories. Money trouble was a likely cause of unhappiness in their marriage because in the stories, they we always vacationing to an exotic locale, enjoying the life of an opulent couple (Charles, pp 45-78). Also, the fact that the wife still rides the bus suggests that they still are barely getting by.

Because of their shadowy past, and the husband's sick condition, the wife probably feels the need to come down to the hospital and keep her husband company with the stories of grandeur. She also probably for her sake as well as her husband's, for she is also part of the stories she tells. It probably is a way for her to cope with the fact that her married life was far from perfect. So she immerses herself in this storytelling game because for her, anything is better than reality, even fiction.

The Story Analysis

The title of the story is also significant in that, it is the name of a Persian queen who told her husband 1001 stories in order to keep herself alive every night. In a way, the same is true in this story, in order to ...
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