Analysis Of Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"

1772 words - 7 pages

Love cannot be defined in one sentence or even a paragraph. Every human has his or her own definition of love because people usually define love based on their cultures, backgrounds, social classes, educations, and their societies. In this essay, the main point will be the different kinds of love that Carver illustrates in his story “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love.” In Carver’s story, there are some points that I can relate to my personal experience. There are a few characteristics and symbols in the story that are really important to understand in order to define what a real love is and find the intention thrown out the story. These characteristics includes, Mel, Terri and Ed and Terri’s relationship. Furthermore, symbols such as ”sunlight” and “dark room”,” cardiologist” and “silence” at the end of the story can have a specific intention thrown out of the story.
From his career as a cardiologist and his definition of love in the beginning of the story, Mel seems to be a very intelligent and educated person. However, as the story progresses, Mel, Terri, Nick and Laura got more and more drunk. The drunk they got, the more they seemed confused about what true love is. When Mel and his friend were drunk, Mel started to give examples of an old couple to support his definition of love, but at the end, he seemed confused, and he couldn’t clearly define what love is because he was drunk. Furthermore, Mel was talking about the old couple and how they were nearly close to death in car accident, and then he ended up depression. Mel talked about his first wife, and he mentioned “If I am not praying she’ll get married again I am praying she’ll get herself stung to death by swarm of fucking bees” (Carver 683). I think when Mel mentioned this phrase; he lost his ability to define what love is. In the story, Mel lost his cardiologist characteristic which was helping him to be consider as an educated person and expertise in defining love when he told Terri, “Just shut up for once in your life” (Carver 680). I think “shut up” was a very strong words that shows he didn’t know what a true love is and made his audience think about him as someone who can not define love clearly.
When someone as a reader looks at Mel’s situation, it is a totally different kind of love. Education, background, social class comes together and describes Mel’s definition about love. To be specific, Mel is an educated person, and he is a cardiologist. However, Mel sees love as something that can be pass on to someone else, and he doesn’t really understand the concept of real love. There might be another reason for Mel definition’s of love, and the reason is Mel’s first love with his first wife (Marjorie). Mel was in love with Marjorie (Mel first wife), but suddenly everything just collapsed, and he didn’t know what cause the divorce, and what happened to his love. Mel sees love as a “memory not even a memory” (Carver 676), and that is when he started to talk about love at...

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