Raymond Carver What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Analysis

Decent Essays

Mel and His "Definition" of Love
Raymond Carver wrote "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" in 1981, by doing this Carver also created the character Mel. This short story is written in first person narration from Nick, one of Mel's friends. Both of their wives, Terri (Mel) and Laura (Nick) are also in the kitchen having the love conversation with Mel and Nick. Mel is a forty five year old, tall, curly headed cardiologist. Mel also has an ex-wife with whom he had children with. Mel is related to the theme of Love being undefinable by bringing up the conversation of love, talking about several examples of what love is or is not, trying to prove his point even though he does not completely understand what love is, and being an example of undefinable love himself.
Sitting in the kitchen drinking gin, Mel, brings up the topic of love and how he thinks "real love was nothing less than spiritual love" (876). This is when Mel's wife, Terri, brings up her ex Ed; Ed ‘"loved her so much he tried to kill her"’ (876). Mel tries explaining this is not love it was Ed's craziness. This is the first sign of Mel being jealous, however, as the story goes on readers will see it is more than jealousy. Even when Nick asks how they all fell onto this topic Terrie replies with ‘"Mel always has love on his mind"’ (876). After Nick hears Mel calling Ed's "behavior" towards Terri crazy instead of love, he asks Mel if he thinks ‘"love is an absolute"’ to which Mel replies ‘"The kind of

Get Access