What I Talk About Love By Raymond Carver

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In the short story, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (1981), we find that there is no singular definitive meaning of love, because love is perceived differently by the different characters. We also see that love may have stages and throughout all its complexities, people still hold onto their present love. In this story, we see the four characters, Mel and his wife Terri, Nick whom is the narrator and his wife Laura, all struggle to define what love truly is, while seated around a table drinking Gin. We will begin the analysis of love by looking at Terri’s meaning of love and then Mel’s, Laura and Nick’s love and then finally ending with the love of the old man, in the story that Mel shares with the group. This…show more content…
Mel seems to look down on Terri’s definition of love and Nick and Laura doesn’t believe in that love as well. However, Terri is the only one with direct meaning of love to her. One that she doesn’t question, it doesn’t perplex her, and one she will never forget. She also doesn’t need it to match up to any other levels of love. Terri said, “It was love. Sure, it’s abnormal in most people’s eyes. But he was willing to die for it. He did die for it.” Though Mel felt he is the better man between him and Ed, what he doesn’t realise is that Terri may feel that Ed loved her more than Mel did. The difference with Terri’s perception of love was that she was content with it even until the end. She made it clear that “people are different” as she stated it several times throughout the story in response to anyone that tried to take away her meaning of the love she and Ed shared. Another point, that arises in the story is that Terri leaves Ed for Mel and Mel accuses Ed to be abusive, dangerous and may even crazy. However it may seem that Terri has a type, because Mel is very rude and harsh when he speaks to her, and she allows him to talk to her how he pleases and then waits for him to “make up with her”. We see this on page 1 of the story, when Mel shares with the group that Terri is of the “kick-me-so-I’ll-know-love me school” after he tells her don’t be silly as if not valuing her views. Then, he touches her cheek with his fingers of which she
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