A Serious Talk Essay

1048 words - 4 pages

A Serious Talk The concept of a relationship being over is hard for some to grasp. Ending a relationship is many times one person's decision. For some, the concept of not feeling wanted by that other person is too hard to handle. Feelings of jealousy surface and people choose different ways to deal with this. Denial, anger, and resentment are classic ways of coping with the hardships of losing a partner's love and support. "A Serious Talk" by Raymond Carver expresses this inability to let go of a relationship. "A Serious Talk", is a story of a divorced couple, Vera and Burt; Vera lives with their children in her home that was once theirs, and Burt frequently visits despite Vera's clear indication that she does not want him there. Vera has established a new life with different friends and a new love interest, while Burt lives as though they are still together, not able to let go. The story begins as Burt pulls into the driveway of Vera's house. Carver reflects back to the previous night, when Burt had entered the house with Christmas presents for his children and ex-wife, and they all exchange gifts. Burt sits down in his old chair and feels a sense of normalcy, he "liked it where he was. He liked it in front of the fireplace, a glass in his hand, his house, his home" (Carver 163). Burt then walks toward the fireplace and throws five sawdust logs in it and darts for the patio door, taking six pies that the author describes as: "one for every ten times she had ever betrayed him" (Carver 163), showing how Burt is aware of his actions, and linking them to reasoning. Burt is not the only one encountering problems with change, Vera also has her own set of them.After the reflection of the previous night, as Burt knocks on the back door, Vera answers. She tells him to leave, she tells him "I can't take this any more. You tried to burn the house down" (Carver 164) yet never does a thing about it and later goes to a separate room to talk to her boyfriend. This is a major example of their miscommunication. Despite her anger, Vera lets him in and they begin to talk. Burt questions her on her friend that came over after he had left the night before, and she immediately responds by saying: "If your going to start that, you can go right now"(Carver 164), proving this was not the first time the question arose. She does not know how to stay away from the unhealthy communication, since it seems as if she teases him, letting him know that there is someone, and he is not the man of the house anymore. The subject is quickly dropped and Vera goes over to her stove to get the pilot light working. Burt strangely imagines her catching fire and him saving her. He feels that he will be able to win her back by saving her, like a hero. He yearns...

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