Study Guide

Why Don't You Dance? What's Up With the Ending?

By Raymond Carver

What's Up With the Ending?

The story's ending requires just as much reading between the lines as the rest of the tale does. We learn that the young girl is still feeling pretty uneasy and weird about her encounter with the older man, though (of course) we don't learn exactly why:

Weeks later, she said: "The guy was about middle-aged. All his things right there in his yard. No lie. We got real pissed and danced. In the driveway. Oh, my God. Don't laugh. He played us these records. Look at this record-player. The old guy give it to us. And all these crappy records. Will you look at this s***?"

She kept talking. She told everyone. There was more to it, and she was trying to get it talked out. After a time, she quit trying. (97-98)

She tries to just write him off as pathetic, but clearly there was something else going on there underneath the surface—with her, with him, or with both of them—that still troubles her. Of course, that "something" is totally up for interpretation… Over to you, Shmoopers.

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