The goal of a carburetor:
The goal of a carburetor is to mix just the right amount of gasoline with air so that the engine runs properly. If there is not enough fuel mixed with the air, the engine “runs lean” and either will not run or potentially damages the engine. If there is too much fuel mixed with the air, the engine “runs rich” and either will not run (it floods), runs very smoky, runs poorly (bogs down, stalls easily), or at the very least wastes fuel. The carb is in charge of getting the mixture just right.
On new cars, fuel injection is becoming nearly universal because it provides better fuel efficiency and lower emissions. But nearly all older cars, and all small equipment like lawn mowers and chain saws, use carbs because they are simple and inexpensive.