Structure

The short story “Making Cabinets” by Richard Christian Matheson has a non-chronological structure. The story focuses on an event that takes place over a few minutes – a woman sitting at a table in a restaurant, reading the menu, and trying to order a meal.

The story begins in media res and hooks readers from the first lines: “ICE WATER; a diamond stalk on white linen. The clearness tastes warm, red. The thin woman chokes, covers mouth with napkin”. The intriguing atmosphere is set from the beginning and makes readers curious, particularly because of the strange association between the ice-cold water and the fact that the woman feels the water tastes “warm” and “red”. 

The story follows the woman, who keeps being distracted by disturbing thoughts while trying to order something to eat. The atmosphere of the story becomes darker, especially because of the associations between the human body and food: 

But the tomatoes; the cook would slice them open, their seeded flesh unprotected, seeping helplessly. The waitress approaches. Perhaps the Special of the Day? Lamb...

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