What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

752 Words Nov 20th, 2012 4 Pages
In Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” there was one theme that was consistent throughout the whole story. It is that not one of the four characters of the story could explain what love is. Each character in the story each had their own ideas to what they wanted love to be but not what it actually was. Whether it was suicidal love, abusive love, or just physical love, each person in the story held fast to what they believed love to be, even if they could not explain why.
One of the main characters, Mel, attempts time and again to identify the meaning of love, but he never forms any clear conclusion. Each time he is about to say something important he gets sidetrack or forgets for a little while what he was about
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But these actions only maintain the anonymous of love rather than unmask it. To me they are not talking about love but of lust. Much like Mel said, they are still in that honeymoon stage, AKA having lots of sex. When the physical part of it dies down then the real test of love will be there.
Of the four, Terri, seems to be most confused about the meaning of love and repeatedly states that her abusive ex-boyfriend, Ed, actually loved her, in spite of his irrational way of showing it. But like the others she cannot explain as to why her idea of love is correct. Instead she spends a lot of time defending her ex-boyfriend who was somewhat crazy in my eyes. This tells me that none of the characters truly know what love is.
In a story with a great amount of chatting, nothing much actually gets said in "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." We've got the typical and average kissing, holding hands, and saying "I love you." All of these are ways in which the characters use the language of love to communicate their affections. But somehow, this language all seems insufficient as the darkness falls on the couples and the gin slowly disappears. At the end of the day, words fail to define the meaning of love, and the characters struggle to say just what they mean, if they even know what they mean in the first place.
Another thing in this story that sticks out to me is the drinking that is done. As the characters grow more and more drunk, their conversations become more
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