What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

1120 words - 4 pages

Phu PhanProfessor: Ms Jane NguyenEnglish 1301October 20,2013"What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"Raymond Carver is an American short story and poet writer." What we talk about when we talk about love" is one of his well known short stories. It was published in 1981 and it was a favorable review in the New York Review of Book. It is about two married couples who drink alcohol and talk about love. They are: Mel, Terri, Nick, and Laura. It takes place in the Mel's kitchen. The four characters in the story are all divorced before, so they all have different views of love. Throughout the story, they share different experiences and argument about what real love is while drinking gin. They don't move out of the kitchen and they never run out of things to share thanks to alcohol. Mel (a cardiologist) seems to be the one who has some insights into his profession heart. He talks more than other people with strong opinions. Love is something vague; there is no specific definition about it. The more we talk about this, the more we get lost. Just like alcohol, the more we drink, the more we don't know what we are doing; we couldn't control ourselves anymore. Carver subtly uses drinking as a tool to show us the central themes of love, relationships, communication although drinking is bad for everybody.Throughout the centuries, many authors have addressed love through their works. Each person has their own definition of love. Some say that love is a permanent emotion. Whereas, others say love is simply a disposable emotion, such as fear, surprise, and joy. Though love is often thought as a warm and empowering experience, it also can hurt the feeling of a person. In the story, the four main characters, Mel, Terri, Laura and Nick, are having a discussion about love while drinking gin. The argument between Mel and Terri about Terri's ex-husband is an example of how love has a different meaning to different people. Terri describes that Ed loves her so much and he does everything to keep her by his side, even beat and drag her around like a doll. He also attempts to kill her. Whereas Mel insists that Terri is wrong. "My God, don't be silly. That's not love and you know it," Mel said. He doesn't think that it is love. With Mel, love is nothing less than spiritual love. I do agree with Mel that the relationship between Ed and Terri is not love. It is something else like a kind of mental problem. It is not a good idea to die for love. Human lives only one time but can love more than one person. Why you have to suicide because of breaking up with someone? Through the story, four characters share different experiences and exchange arguments to prove that they are right about the definition of what love is or is not. However, they never agree with each other or have common understanding about what love is. It is what Carver tries to express through his story that there is no clear definition of love.Drinking is seen to be negative in people's lives, nobody likes...

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