Making Cabinets

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Making Cabinets” by Richard Christian Matheson. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Presentation of the text

Title: “Making Cabinets” (2006)
Author: Richard Christian Matheson
Genre: Short story

Richard Christian Matheson (b. 1953) is an American fiction writer, producer, and screenplay writer. He is most famous for his horror fiction and magical realism. He is the son of Richard Matheson (1926-2013), a famous American writer of horror and fantasy fiction. The short story “Making Cabinets” was published in 2006 in the critically acclaimed collection Zoopraxis.

Excerpt from the study guide:

The woman’s disturbing thoughts that link food to gore and body parts foreshadow the fact that her inability to eat has to do with a traumatic event in her past. Moreover, the woman’s thoughts about her husband suggest that he was involved in disturbing activities: “Why hadn't she heard them? [...] Electric saws, pounding hammers. [...] His gentle smile, serving his recipes. The perfect husband. [...] Making cabinets, he'd said; basement door always locked.” Together with her thoughts about food, these foreshadow the disturbing revelation about how the two are linked. Later on, a flashback exposes the truth to readers:

She runs between the red lips, down lightless corridor to the banned door. Inside, music deafens. She presses ear to door; hears blades severing. Pounds on door until it gives. 

Finds two little boys, hanging upside down from ropes, screaming through gagged mouths, half peeled. He turns goggles freckled red, black rubber apron stained. The stove behind him gurgles with spiced stews.

This is also the moment the story ...

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Making Cabinets

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