Complications of Alcohol Abuse and Love Essay

Complications of Alcohol Abuse and Love Essay

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The characters in Raymond Carver’s stories see love in different ways. Carver wrote many short stories including “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” and “Where I’m Calling From” in which the characters discuss what love means to them and how their relationships have failed or succeeded. Due to his own life experiences, Raymond Carver wrote about the complications caused by love and alcohol abuse.
The second collection of short stories by Raymond Carver was titled after one of the stories, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. Critic Laurie Champion states, “The story involves discussions between two couples about the essence of romantic love” (Champion 2). “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” is a story about two couples at different stages in their relationships. Mel and Terri have been married for five years, while Nick Laura only for eighteen months. Nick and Laura “…are still in the glow of early love, and their behavior toward one another is affectionate and respectful. Mel and Terri, on the other hand, have been together five years, and their surface-level civility to one another barely masks a deep-seeded anger and resentment” (Smith 297). While Nick and Laura visit at Mel and Terri’s house before going out to dinner the couples’ discussion turns to love. As the night went on, “The gin and tonic kept going around and somehow we ended up on the topic of love” (Carver 170). One of the sub-plots that becomes evident is an abusive relationship between Terri and her previous boyfriend Ed. Terri argues that Ed’s abuse towards her was how he expressed his love. Terri defends Ed by saying “Sure, it’s abnormal in most people’s eyes. But he was willing to die for it. He did…” (Carver 174). Mel argues, ...

... middle of paper ...

... Calling From." EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. Web. 11 Mar. 2011.
Carver, Raymond. Where I'm Calling From New and Selected Stories. McGraw-Hill Book, 1963. Print. Pages 170-185, 278-296.
Champion, Laurie. "Literary Contexts in Short Stories: Raymond Carver's "What We Talk about When We Talk about Love". EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. Web. 11 Mar. 2011.
May, Charles E., ed. Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Second Revised Edition ed. Vol. 2. Salem, 2001. Print. Pages 472-480.
May, Charles. "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page Web. 11 Mar. 2011.
"Prose as Architecture: Two Interviews with Raymond Carver." Illinois Wesleyan University -- Bloomington, IL. Web. 15 Mar. 2011.
Smith, Jennifer, ed. Short Stories for Students. Vol. 12. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2001. Print. Pages 364-382.

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