The Many Sides of Dr. Melvin R. McGinnis

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Raymond Carver's short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” leaves the reader feeling as if they have sat down at the table with a bottle of Gin and experienced first hand the effects of alcoholism and depression. In the original version of this story the “Beginners” Carver carefully crafts the many sides of an alcoholic personality developing strong knowable characters. The fundamental personalities are left fairly intact from the original version. It should be noted that the feelings that the reader are left with are due at least partially to the severe editing of the “Beginners” done by his editor and friend Gordon Lish. With this collaboration Carvers personal struggles still shine through but his intent of hope and…show more content…
When Laura does speak or interact with the others she is often trying to lighten an anxiety in the room. Laura listens to to the story of Terri and Ed in a non judgmental and fascinated way and when the story leaves everyone feeling anxious she says “Well, Nick and I know what love is, for us I mean.” The way the others treat her shows off her personality well. Mel treats her like a glimmer of hope in a dark place. “I’d fall in love with you. I’d carry you off, honey.” Terri playfully mocks her type of love as honeymoon love that won’t last. Everyone in the room but Laura seems jaded to some extent. At the end of the story Laura becomes passive and redirects from the anxious feeling in the room “I don’t think I have ever felt so hungry in my life. Is there something to nibble on?”
Terri is well described by Nick as bone thin, pretty face, dark eyes and long brown hair. She liked turquoise necklaces, long pendant earrings. She plays a very dominate character role in the story and has a lot of interaction with Me. INTERVIEWER: In an article you did for The New York Times Book Review you mentioned a story “too tedious to talk about here”—about why you choose to write short stories over novels. Do you want to go into that story now? Carver: ...It was depressing, and I felt spiritually obliterated. Alcohol became a problem. I more or less gave up, threw in the towel, and took to full-time drinking as a

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