An analysis of the short story “Making Cabinets” by Richard Christian Matheson reveals that the story has a non-traditional structure. The main events happen over a short period – a few minutes – but the story introduces flashbacks that reveal more about the main character’s trauma.
The main character is a woman who is unable to eat. The story reveals that her problem started when she discovered that her husband was a murderer who used his victims’ body parts to cook meals that his wife used to enjoy.
The main setting of the story is the restaurant where the woman tries to order something to eat. The meals on the menu make her nauseous, as they remind her that her husband used to cook his victims. In the woman’s flashbacks, the basement is another important part of the setting.
The story has a third-person narrator who mainly adopts the woman’s perspective. At times, the perspective shifts, and the narrator also uses the waitress and the boy’s point of view.
The story’s language is minimalist. The author does not use unnecessary details and offers readers just enough to let them interpret the story’s plot themselves. In this light, readers can also discover the use of Ernest Hemingway’s iceberg theory in the story.
You can read a full analysis of the short story on the following pages.